Using Slack to Promote Critical Thinking


I am all about using real world tech tools in the classroom. They not only are the best way I have found for students to collaborate and be accountable to each other, but they also enhance interpersonal skills and help prepare them for the digital world.

In the article How Using Slack Can Improve Socratic Seminars, Justin Taylor and Zach Seagle argue that “sitting in a circle reading from a paper no longer represents the pinnacle of thoughtful debate.”

Socratic seminars are not something I have tried yet, but I know many teachers who have. In case you are not familiar, a Socratic Seminar requires the students to sit in a circle and have a formal discussion based on material they have read. The teacher acts as a moderator and asks open ended questions to keep the conversation moving and encourage the students to think critically.

Slack is a messaging app used mostly in business. Taylor and Seagle said, “while not explicitly designed for the classroom, we have found Slack to be a powerful platform for stimulating high-level online discourse centered around key concepts and core habits of discussion.”

Have you tried Slack in the classroom? If not, how do you utilize technology to help your students think on a higher level?

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