It's been a super long time since I've posted, but here's something that could be helpful. It's a really old strategy that I learned about in a faculty meeting well over 8 years ago. Tech could certainly be used, but I haven't done it in any way but on a whiteboard.
Depending on the topic, I start by giving students time to gather and organize their thoughts. In this case, they were given a do now that asked "How did Thomas Jefferson feel about/treat Native Americans? Explain." This do now was a follow up to a podcast they viewed for homework.
Next, I put the central theme or question on the whiteboard and explained the Chalk Talk procedure:
- You speak only using the markers. There are four markers available; when you've put up your ONE thought, pass it to someone who has not yet gone.
- You may write a fact, opinion, question... anything, but it must be related to the theme and, of course, classroom appropriate. You may build off someone else's point as well.
- When everyone has had a chance to add, only then may someone add a second point.
- There is NO SPEAKING.
Depending on how controversial the topic is, it can definitely fall into organized chaos. I have had it devolve into two students carrying on an argument with markers. On task, but it became more about the argument than the central topic.
This can really be applied to anything--a gauge of what students know about a topic before beginning, a closure, a formative assessment. I've used it in nearly every class I've taught.