As Rock Point School staff and students have spread out across the country, we have had to get creative with ways to connect with students and find ways for them to connect outside of the classroom. We have recently turned to a program called Discord. Many communities use Discord as a platform to connect, share media, organize events, video/voice chat, and a lot more.
Historically, Discord has been used as a means of communication for people on video games and it has since expanded its reach to be a host to communities with all sorts of interests. We are planning to use it as a central hub to better connect students together and share their lives with each other as well as have more opportunity to connect with staff, particularly the Residential Educators.
Since inviting all of the students, the majority of them have joined in and have started to chat and share on this new platform. There are different "channels" for different topics of discussion and staff are able to moderate and supervise the use of Discord on all the channels. Students have been active in sharing pictures of their pets back home (see photo collage above), cracking a joke or two and one student has a running series of sharing the 25 different plants in their home. Residential educators will also be able to host game nights, run life skills, and a variety of other things on the platform.
While we would rather be together at school, this technology is enabling us connect in new ways through this difficult time.