Discord should be utilized by ECC community amid a virtual fall 2021

Discord should be implemented more into the online classroom experience with El Camino College confirming that the fall 2021 semester will be online.

El Camino College (ECC) confirmed via email on Monday, April 19, that the majority of classes will continue virtually in the upcoming fall semester with an estimated 20% of classes being in-person.

Discord, a server-based app that combines text and video chat, is mainly known for gaming but has the opportunity to help students manage their classroom experience and social life all in one.

Discord is both an app and a website, meaning you can either download the app on computer and mobile or you can save your data and use the browser version.

According to Business of Apps, Discord has 6.7 million active servers and counting as of 2020.

While Discord is mainly gaming-community based, there are some servers that aren’t gaming related.

According to Discord, about 200 or more servers were created by colleges and universities like the University of Texas, Rutgers University, and Humboldt State University all for the sake of students to interact with each other virtually.

ECC has its own official server for students to socialize as well. Though not many people are active, it’s there for announcements and available for students to drop by and communicate with each other.

Students at ECC have also been creating their own servers on Discord for their clubs as an alternative to going to campus and meeting everyone who signed up in-person.

Professors can do the same by creating their own Discord servers and inviting students to join and come together as a class while the professor lectures.

Discord has a guide on how professors can use the app for their virtual classrooms, from creating their servers to creating different text and voice channels. As added security, teachers can also keep their server private so that it’s exclusive to the students who have enrolled in their class.

Professors can add as many text channels as they would like on Discord to suit their needs, such as one to introduce the class, one with the class schedule and another to announce homework deadlines.

Voice chats (VC) can also be used for office hours so students can talk to their professor directly in the VC and leave when they’re done. Professors can even add different VCs for group assignments where students can go to their designated VCs to work together and solve problems.

Technology is a powerful and advantageous tool and the use of Zoom to simulate the classroom setting has shown how easily technology can be used for a school setting. With the help of Discord, the virtual classroom experience can be elevated.