Discord Educational Toolkit

You may have experienced the Discord collaboration platform at an online conference – it provides a means for people to collaborate via text, audio, or even video formats.

Quite a few educators are putting it to use as a teaching tool as an alternate (or addition) to Zoom.

Just spotted today, the CUNY Commons has published an educators “toolkit” guide to Discord, including kits for the technical set up, how to design a Discord space, instructional design suggestions, and more.

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It’d be interesting to see if we could realise the same benefits using open source, distributed (institutionally hosted) technologies like Rocket.Chat or NextCloud Chat/Talk (integrated with BigBlueButton rather than Zoom for video and audio collaboration) rather than centralised proprietary technologies like Discord. We at the OER Foundation would be happy to provide test instances of all of the above to facilitate that. I think there’d be a number of educational, sustainability, and cost advantages (even though Discord is generally “free”) to doing so.

I’d rather see us all investing our time in building practices and documentation around open tools rather than closed ones (which could, for example, be acquired and start charging for their services at any time or increase the ickiness of its surveillance capitalism business model).


Good point, Dave, and I should have stated out the outset that this was a proprietary platform that could get yanked or priced out from you at anytime. It’s that slippery slope of convenience.

I encourage folks to take up Dave and the OER Foundation on this offer. They have done this for me in the past and currently in our work at the OE Global.