Slack in the classroom to manage student groups

students communication

Last year I had the opportunity to teach at the University of Senior Management, part of the group ADEN, where I took this opportunity to introduce Slack as a tool for file management and communication to take control of the class.

Slack after using for a project, I decided I was going to use it to consolidate all group activity classes, which is in the form of file management and group communication or direct messages. Slack used before using email, WhatsApp, Moodle, among many other solutions, but had drawbacks such as:

Reply to All: Every time you send an email to a group, there is a 98.3% certainty that the first message you receive will be someone who did Reply to All asking something not read and is in the body of the email sent.

Indexing information: communications sent by WhatsApp were not indexed and, for large groups, once more new messages, it is very difficult to find a message sent in the past. Slack is very efficient in this.

Consolidation of communication: The more platforms use a group to communicate, more chaos, more opportunities there that the relevance and meaning of communication and channels are lost. Also lends itself to confusion that you want to believe that you sent the document for a channel and you did not come.

Platforms: students will have you believe that only receives emails on their laptops and cannot receive or send tasks or jobs are written if not near your laptop. Slack can be installed on any iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, laptop, desktop, tablet device.

Fortunately, the group of students was always at the height of this experiment and took this initiative as a way quite 2015 to maintain communications and integrated into this dynamic, as they could be in contact with the contents of the class and access to communicate with me 24/7, helping to clear doubts about the tasks or questions they had about group work and exams.

To implement this, first I chose the name of the group, with the name of matter. From the first day of school, rather than roll, I asked them to make a list of emails, to which I added all students and spent no less than an hour classes to make sure everyone had the application properly installed in their cell phones and laptops and had enabled notifications. The following 2 classes always started asking if anyone had problems with access to group Slack. The best way for me worked to push the use of Slack was to send items (links) to the group of Slack and tell them that the next class would put a quiz before class starts on these issues, just to confirm receiving messages.

Among the recommendations that I can offer to make use Slack easier to manage student groups are: Enable notifications for all messages. As an administrator of the group, it is better to know everything that happens in the group. It is also recommended that all group members activate, at least, notifications group administrator.

Full Profiling: you have to ask group members to complete their full profiles, especially with photo. That way it is easier to get to know the members of the group. Assign tasks or jobs in the first classes , for students to keep abreast through the application and become more accustomed to this environment and the different channels that can be create within. Multiplatform , this application can be installed on Mac and Windows operating systems, Android or iOS cell in desktop or laptop, finally, is so flexible that lets you have it on several devices at once. For example, most of the time I receive tasks as a direct message and review them from the cell. Make the group from the first class, so they get used to that communications are on that channel. Use the command @everyone and @channel to emphasize a important messages in general or in specific channels, respectively, as a warning of examination tasks or special instructions. This option should be enabled to be used only by the group administrator. If you liked this article, dale like and share it with your friends.

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