Connected Classrooms: Virtual Debate
We're inviting middle school educators to help us improve Thinkalong™ by beta testing the new virtual debate feature, “Connected Classrooms.”
This feature enables students to exchange ideas and practice their debate skills with peers from other schools or geographic areas without the need to physically travel. With minimal technical resources, debates can be held through a safe, private online video-conference forum. Debates are planned to take the time of one typical 45-minute classroom period.
How to do a virtual debate
First, you’ll need the following technical setup in your classroom or space:
- Bandwidth able to carry a video stream of 300kbps (minimum) and an audio stream of 50 kbps (minimum)
- An open internet channel that will not be blocked by a firewall or spam filters.
- A computer with a modern web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox).
- A computer equipped with a camera and microphone, or a camera and mic setup that is connected to your computer.
Sign up for an online debate using the big purple button below. We need a little bit of information about your class and the debate topic you want to explore. After you sign up, we'll contact you to schedule the debate.
After coordinating with both teachers, a Thinkalong™ team member will send a password-protected link to all participants. On the day of debate, participants can join the private video conference.
The host introduces the topic and flips a coin to assign sides. Suggestion: teachers should review Thinkalong™ modules with students beforehand.
When the speakers have finished, the judge uses the Thinkalong™ rubric to deliver their decision. To keep the debate fair, only the resources on the Thinkalong™ module are allowed during the debate.
After the debate concludes, the videos are made available to teachers.
Sign up now to connect your classroom
Find a topic you want to discuss with your students and get ready for a debate!