Published: Sept. 1, 2016

Slack logoHow might we help our students communicate in teams even when they are out of the classroom? The phrase, ‘my students are slacking,’ doesn’t usually roll of an instructor’s tongue with a positive connotation. However, for instructors using the communication tool, Slack, it may be perfectly fine for students to be slacking - or communicating. Slack is a team-based, highly collaborative, messaging tool. Users can synchronously communicate with one another via open and private channels, or direct messaging. Slack also features an easy drag and drop system to share files with other team members. Conversations within Slack are searchable and archivable. And, Slack conveniently integrates with other tools such as Google Docs and Trello. This versatile tool and can be used in a number of ways. Students can create their own team in slack and use this as a private communication platform to collaborate on a class project. Or faculty can create a class instance, and use Slack as a main communication tool. While this tool works great in the classroom, it works well as a communications platform for academic groups, such as student groups, communication between TAs and GAs, or even between colleagues. If you’re interested in learning more about Slack go to to sign up for a team or visit their getting started documentation. Happy slacking!