You know what I miss most about being on campus? I miss bumping into a colleague in the hallway, walking and talking on the way to class, wishing time could slow down so we could chat just a little bit longer…
I miss the unexpected learning. Maybe for you, it’s something else. Maybe it’s the jokes, the fun of such conversations that you miss. Maybe it’s the respectful debate, or the support or feedback for a project you’ve shared. Whatever it is, it’s absence has left a void many of us have struggled to fill over the last 9 months.
There is no perfect substitute for in-person, face-to-face conversation, but CETLS is offering an informal, non-Zoom alternative that we hope can help as we move forward with our off-campus lives. Introducing our “BMCC Faculty” workspace, via SLACK.
What is SLACK? It is a self-described “channel-based messaging platform,” but more simply – it’s an app, compatible with your phone and computer, that you can use to engage in those conversations you miss so much. (And it’s secure and easy to use, and no, they don’t pay me to say that.)
How do I join this “BMCC Faculty” Group? First, download the app. That’s Step 1. Step 2 is following the instructions on this sign-up page to set up your account. If you’d rather not download another app, no problem – you can also access Slack via the web.
Okay, I’m in – now what? Now, you talk to people!
Those hash-tagged phrases are channels. Each channel has a designated topic of conversation. There is a #general-discussion channel, and then there are several focused on more specific subjects, such as #teaching-synchronous and #writing-buddies. Once you select a channel (and you can join as many as you want), you’re ready to go! And you can also add channels if you want to start a new topic.
The best thing about this is you can take your participation as far as you want. If all you’re looking for is basic conversation, then reading your feed and typing responses is all you need. However, if you want to take it further, you can:
- Share photos and attach documents
- Reply to your favorite messages with hearts, applauding hands, and more!
- Use the @ symbol to address individuals or entire channels directly (and publicly)
- Use the “Direct Messages” feature to address individuals privately.
The last thing I need is more messaging to respond to…Don’t worry, no pressure. Turn off your notifications (so you don’t get bombarded when you’re not using the app), and pop in and out whenever you feel like it.
CETLS is all about building community, and it’s that sense of community that’s lost as we work remotely. Our “BMCC Faculty” workspace can’t truly replace it, but it can help. So if you miss those unexpected hallway conversations as much as I do and want a secure, low-pressure alternative, I encourage you to join us.
If you’d like to learn more about the “BMCC Faculty” workspace, join us on Wednesday, December 9 for an introductory workshop.