Continuous technological improvements brought about by globalization paved multiple ways to conduct classes and meetings without the need for physical presence amidst this COVID-19 pandemic. Common applications that are used for online classes are Zoom, Google Meet, Canvas, and more, but another app that may offer the same learning process with better learning experience for both instructors and students is Discord.
Discord is a popular communications application used mostly by “online gamers” and people who like to venture into different virtual communities to meet new people. This app, fortunately, is not limited to gaming and socializing activities alone because it has been used by various educational institutions such as The Tech Academy, a well-known IT university in Bangladesh, and other IT schools in the Philippines. It has functions similar to those offered by Zoom or Google Meets and even offers more. Voice conferencing for up to 99 people, video conferencing for 25 people, and screen sharing for up to 50 people in a channel can be done through the platform without the worry of exhausting a huge chunk of your data since it uses less than the amount of data Zoom or Canvas consume. Other than that, there are a few more reasons as to why Discord is a suitable learning medium.
Ease of Account and Server Creation
Creating a discord account is free and only requires an email account and password. Servers are also unrestricted and easy to create by following a step-by-step guide provided in YouTube videos. Since this app is mobile- and desktop-friendly, users do not need to worry about the type of device they need. There are also premiums available in this app for those who would like to send files for over eight megabytes or boost a server, specifically Discord Nitro for $9.99 per month or Discord Nitro Classic for $4.99 per month.
Strength of Privacy
After creating the server, further modifications can be included to strengthen the privacy of the server such as permissions and verification bots and processes. There is also a setting that can be adjusted which only allows instructors to have access and share links of server invites. Users may only access a server through invites and with this function, instructors may monitor and set limits to the number of accounts that may enter the server. This makes the server secure and private without the unnecessary worrying of being raided during class.
Servers and All Their Contents are Permanent
Servers are there forever, unless deleted. Voice channels, video channels, and text channels are there permanently as well. When joining a voice channel, there is no need to ponder about the time limit because there is none, unless the user decides to leave the channel.
Customization for Organization
Learning through online applications may be tough since it tends to get unorganized for some. Thus, there is another feature of Discord that allows server creators to organize their server channels. The ease of customization permits creators to have search and mention systems, customizable notifications, ranks, and permissions. Text channels are created for texts and voice or video conferencing channels are for such. These can also be renamed for organization purposes.
Multiple bots for various purposes are available in the Discord app. A famous bot, for example, is the Groovy Bot which is basically a music bot which plays music available on the face of the Internet. Just type the basic commands which are also taught either in YouTube videos or in guides available online. This also goes for all the other bots available such as the Meme Bot.
All in all, Discord may be unconventional for class purposes, but it offers learning opportunities that are flexible to gadgets and data restrictions. The first-time use may be quite complicated for some, but once users get the hang of it, everything goes smoothly.
LAYOUT BY: Laiza Simeoune B. Sanchez
PHOTO SOURCE(S): StickPNG and Free PNG logos