Peer discussion and conferencing

Also known as: accountable talk, chat stations, pinwheel discussion, scheduled chat

Peer discussion and conferencing allows students to share, discuss and build on the contributions of their peers through a range of discussion strategies. It:

  • assists educators to introduce students to a variety of discussion strategies
  • encourages students to engage more intentionally in conversation around texts or ideas
  • promotes acceptance of different ideas and opinions.

Peer discussion and conferencing

ICT templates

Learning activity templates

Google G Suite

Ensure you are logged into your Google account before accessing these templates.

Office 365

Ensure you are logged into your Microsoft account before accessing these templates. To edit Microsoft templates, go to:
File > Download a Copy.

How to use with ICT

External resources

Find out more resources
Title Link Description
DART Connections DART Connections Video conferencing that brings students and teachers face to face with experts across the globe.
International Education & Resource Network (iEARN) International Education & Resource Network (iEARN) iEARN have connected classrooms globally for over two decades using learning circles as a unifying strategy.
Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) SOLE uses a website and iOS app with a simple educational approach, designed to promote inquiry and foster student self-empowerment. SOLE discussions have 3 phases: asking a big question, investigating and reviewing.
Accountable talk by Naomi Migliacci Accountable talk presentation (PDF) A comprehensive guide to accountable talk strategies and useful language stems.
Accountable talk on the Victoria Education and Training website Accountable talk A Victoria Education and Training guide to accountable talk strategies and developing 'ground rules'.
Accountable talk stems adapted from the Institute for Learning Accountable talk stems Accountable talk stems adapted from the Institute for Learning, 2003.
Parlay Parlay Parlay helps teachers facilitate meaningful and inclusive class discussions. Parlay is a web-based blended learning tool and content library that works in conjunction with face-to-face discussions.
Webjets Webjets Webjets is a flexible collaboration tool, where teachers create an item-based discussion board on their desktop and learners collaborate using a range of formats. Logging into Webjets is free with a Google Education account.
Equity Maps Equity Maps Equity Maps is a discussion monitor app for Apple iOS devices. Equity Maps show who is participating and how often. The app can be mirrored from an iPad to make an in-class peer discussion digital, visually recording which students participate and how long they talk.
The Global Read Aloud (GRA) The Global Read Aloud (GRA) The GRA project started in 2010, trying to connect one book to a world audience. GRA now enjoys global collaboration with participation by millions of students worldwide. GRA requires a connection to the internet using any browser or device.
Yo Teach Yo Teach Yo Teach is for creating online backchannel chat rooms. Teachers can set a password and students join with the URL and a unique PIN. Admin features include privacy settings and moderation of users. Students are even able to draw on a ‘scratchboard’ that can display in the backchannel.


Links to third-party websites:

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The department accepts no responsibility for content on third-party websites.

Personalised learning

Students with disability

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the diversity of your learners. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all. For UDL guidelines, information and additional materials, visit the CAST website.

Many students require technology as an adjustment to support their access to learning. Adjustments (NESA) are actions taken that enable a student with disability and additional learning needs to access syllabus outcomes and content on the same basis as their peers. Enrol in the Personalised learning with technology online course to help you make more informed decisions regarding technology.


To support your understanding of inclusive curriculum planning, enrol in the microlearning course: Curriculum planning for every student in every classroom. This online series is designed to equip K-12 teachers to effectively identify and meet the diverse learning needs of all their students


High potential and gifted learning and support

When planning to use technology in the classroom it is important to consider the full range of abilities of all learners. High potential and gifted learners may require additional adjustments and deliberate talent development.  These strategies include differentiation, grouping, enrichment and advanced learning pathways so students can be engaged, grow and achieve their personal best.


Assessing and identifying high potential and gifted learners will help teachers decide which students may benefit from extension and additional challenge. Effective strategies and contributors to achievement for high potential and gifted learners helps teachers to identify and target areas for growth and improvement. School leaders can access the Evaluation and Planning Tool to support strategic improvement planning.


Recognising the diversity of high potential and gifted students represented in classrooms across 4 domains of potential can be explored further by accessing illustrations of practice.


For further support and advice about how to tailor learning for high potential and gifted students from all backgrounds, visit the High Potential and Gifted Education web section, High Potential and Gifted Education Policy or attend one of the professional learning courses on offer.