With all of the available social media tools and the constant multi tasking that happens everyday, how do you keep your audience focused on what you have to say? One of the solutions to this question is through ‘back channels.’ I have been using them for a few years now and they offer many reasons to use them. For me the number reason is archive, we can come back to the conversation and see what worked and what did not work. What section of the lecture/workshop was most difficult for the audience? For me personally that is a great way to improve the delivery of the information. For my audience the number one reason is engagement, they can be part of the conversation immediately. As soon as they have a question or comment, it is added to the back channel conversation. Others on the channel can answer the question or provided follow up. You can email the participant following the lecture or workshop. People are going to message each other, why not capitalized on that and improve the learning outcomes.
It is important to set some guidelines prior to starting. First tell the audience the purpose of the back channel and how it will be used. Set the expectations, call out user who do not abide. that will deter future distractions. Then I start with a background question to demonstrate how to use the tool, even though it is quite simple. From there, let the conversation take off.
Here are some links to help you get started with your own back channel:

Source: Using a Backchannel to Engage Students | The Teaching Practice


Using a Backchannel to Engage Students | The Teaching Practice