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Team #PhysEd Slack Community

For the past few months, Mike and I have been using Slack as our main tool for internal communications here at ThePhysicalEducator.com (which makes us sound way too serious… especially considering I’m wearing pyjama pants right now).

Slack is a communication service that was originally built for enterprise, yet is now seeing more and more people using it as a way to encourage meaningful discussion within their online communities.

Slack allows you to create open channels for the projects, groups and topics that your whole team/community shares. These channels increase transparency by putting knowledge in everyone’s hands. Discoverability, complete history & search across all channels is built in (which is really sweet).

Channels include messages, files & comments, inline images & video, rich link summaries and integration with the services we use every day, like Twitter, Dropbox & Google Drive.

Check out this awesome Slack promo video by my favourite tech advertising startup: Sandwich Video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6zVzWU95Sw]

What’s nice about Slack is that it is really easy to organize conversations based on topics and to catch up on conversations if you are late to the party. I recently tried Voxer, but quickly gave up when my phone was bombarded with notifications and so many chat messages that it made it impossible to catch up on what was going on. Since Slack is text/file-based, it makes it a lot easier to go back and scan through months worth of discussion.

Between the direct integration with file sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive, channels that allow for organized discussion, beautiful mobile/desktop apps, and no 140 character text limits… I thought it would be cool to set up a Slack Team for the #physed community.

So I did. Here’s what teamphysed.slack.com looks like:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.55.11 PM

You’ll notice the Slack community is a little lonely at the moment… But it’s ready for you to join in!

I’ve gone and set 6 channels to get us started:

1. #general

This channel is for general questions about Slack or other non-physed related things. If you have a PE-related question, try one of the other channels below!

2. #physed

This channel is for discussions related directly to the current/upcoming #pechat topic (which you should see beside the channel name up top). If you want to talk about something unrelated to that topic, try one of the other channels.

3. #pegeeks

This channel is dedicated to the meaningful application of technology in physical education pedagogy. No idea where to start with your new iPad? Trying to raise funds for ICT in PE? You’re at the right place!

4. #pechat

This channel is for discussions related directly to the current/upcoming #pechat topic. If you want to talk about something unrelated to that topic, try one of the other channels.

5. #resources

This channel is for sharing awesome resources for physical education. Want to share a great unit plan you just created? An assessment template you really like? Share away! That’s what this channel is for!

6. #shapeseattle

This channel is to help us discuss all of the cool things that will be taking place at #SHAPESeattle this March. Let’s share notes from presentations, decide where the best socials are, and see how we can make the most of this conference together!

Once you get started, you’ll see that Slack is very straightforward. However, if you would like some extra tips/tricks, you can learn more about Slack at the services “About” page or check out this great post by @slackhq on Medium.

If you would like to be a part of the Team #PhysEd Slack Community, I will have to add you via email. Use this form to submit your name and email to me and I will add you as soon as possible.

I really think that Slack could be a tremendous tool in helping our community organize discussion and create meaningful professional development opportunities (rather than just crowded conversations with no direction). Here’s to hoping you feel the same!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on Slack!

Joey Feith is a physical education teacher from Canada and the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com.

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Joey Feith is the founder of ThePhysicalEducator.com. He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

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