On Discord

What you need to know for my (Techwise) discord server

Discord's official "About" Page

Anyone is welcome to join my Discord "server." Participation is completely optional and is in no way officially related to Florida State University. (so go ahead and post that apartment ad!)

The server itself is for my non-profit and is presently small and casual; there are no fine-grained "roles" or "permissions;" everybody is welcome to participate most everywhere. Of course, this also means that there should be no expectations of privacy, safety or protection from content, legal or otherwise.

Each semester, I will set up text rooms (under the "Current Semester" category) for some of the classes I teach; these may be helpful in sharing useful information and coordinating team work. Note, I will not be doing official team rooms, but "Group Chats" are good for team work.


The only other relatively frequently active channel is "General," a general interest channel, as its name suggests. I have experimented with other topical channels and would love to see those take off too if there is interest. Feel free to make suggestions!

Upon joining Discord (check for the join link in Announcements or elsewhere on Canvas) and you'll be put in the "Landing-zone" — after I approve you, you're good to go on everything.

I am a bit of a Discord moderator novice, so ideas etc. are always welcome!

A little extra on "Why Discord?"

It's overwhelmingly the best tool for group work I've used in my 14+ years of teaching online; I'd go so far to say that it is the only major improvement in online collaboration tools I've seen since I've been teaching in that time.

Despite being "young" in appearance and very "gamer oriented," it's the only groupwork tool I've seen that actually treats its users like adults. Consider the metaphor; in Zoom and Collaborate et al, for live sessions, you're mostly treated like toddlers: the moderator has ultimate control and must escort the "children" to their work rooms. By contrast - Discord gives the option of coming and going as you please, even if it's not during class hours.

Moreover, the relationship between text chat (e.g. the audio/video and text, a la "Slack" et al) is much better integrated. Additionally, the experience is nearly identical regardless of operating system or device. (When someone like me is recommending something *proprietary* — that's a strong signal to how I feel about it. ☺ )

(Incidentally, the fact that it is gamer-oriented probably explains how it has grown to be so good — everyone who started off using Discord did so willingly for fun, as opposed to being forced to by employers et al)

Major caveat:

The one thing I don't like about discord is its deep centralization. It uses the false metaphor of "servers." Many of you may already have Discord accounts, and while it does let you change your particular nickname per "server," I believe presently your avatar picture and permanent "nickname" cannot be changed across different servers. I ask everyone to respect this in both directions, i.e. you may want to change it to something more "appropriate," but also, I acknowledge and respect the choice to express yourself within reason, and ask others to do the same. You may also want to consider creating another account.

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