Bell Ringers/Do Nows for the 21st Century


Over the course of the past decade it is no secret that there is more technology, especially educational technology available than ever before. Some aspects of technology have made our lives easier, while some others have made it harder to “teach the basics.” For example, anyone charged with the task of finding information will often “just Google it.”

But using technology for Bell Ringers or Do Nows, or whatever you happen to call them could be an interesting way to keep students’ attention from the start of class. NOTE: This can only be executed within a classroom where all students have an available desktop or equivalent to access the specific websites needed.

The First way to create an interactive Do Now via educational technology is TodaysMeet

To create your own room go to and you’ll see the following:

You will be able to name your meeting room whatever you like (note below you will be told where an abbreviated URL link is located once you create your room). You have the following options for how long your room can remain open: 1 hour, 2 hours, 8 hours, one day, one week, one month and one year. You will see that one week is the default option. You may want to create a room for each class period since everyone should be expected to reply. Your time parameters however are entirely up to you.

Then you click Create Your Room and enter your name. Once you’ve done this enter the information you need answered for your Do Now and have students enter the room to provide their responses. The students will also have to enter their name, so you can identify them and give them credit for their responses.

For our purposes I created an example at which is scheduled to disappear in a week, so I will provide graphics below of what I’m talking about.


To enter your message type it into the blue box and click the Say button. Bear in mind you may only use 140 characters when typing. Also note only those individuals provided with the link to your “meet” should have access to it.

The web address with the Copy button next to it provides you with an abbreviated URL for your specific TodaysMeet interaction.

When clicking transcript you end up with something like this:

When clicking projector you end up with something like this:

Transcript displays everything relevant to what is provided and the projector places emphasis on the words.

The Second way to create an interactive Do Now via educational technology is TitanPad

TitanPad offers two distinct options for educators. First, is to create a public pad. Second, is to create your own private pad through a subdomain.

With the public pad you will see something like this:
There will be a link at the top of the browser provided for you to share with the class. Each individual enters their name on the top right, then can chat in the bottom right section.

The actual pad in the middle can be edited by anyone in the class so it is necessary to keep your eyes on the TitanPad at all times to make sure students are actively engaged in what they need to be doing.

The private pad link above sends you to the following:
Enter a subdomain that is easy to remember and related to your course. Fill in your full name and finally provide your email. Password instructions are mailed to the email address you provided.

Click the link provided in the email sent by TitanPad. Once you do so you will see a screen that looks like this:
Create your password as requested.

You will then be brought to a “news” section with a button that states “create new pad” on the right. Create a pad and you will see it looks exactly like the one created for the public pad, but you have more controls available for it.

To get back to your created private TitanPad for future use type in the URL you created – and you’ll receive a login screen that looks like this:

The benefits of using the private TitanPad are that you can make a different pad for every exercise you intend to use it for, within your own personal subdomain. For the public TitanPad you will have to go and create a new one every time, but with the private pad you can store all used TitanPads to look at later or potentially use again to serve as a reminder for students.

NOTE: These items can just as easily be used within the business world for collaborating information, but for these purposes I’ve pointed out their use within a classroom pertaining to Bell Ringers/Do Nows at the start of a classroom period to actively engaged students.

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