Discord is a communication app that has made it easier for gamers to connect with one another. With chat rooms assigned to different topics and video/voice messaging, this online world serves as a personal hub to build interpersonal relationships. With Whole Children’s virtual evolution, Discord has become home to our own gaming community. Classes such as Animal Crossing, Dungeons and Dragons, Minecraft and many more have created an “enclosed social media” as gaming teacher, Amanda Kent, describes it. Discord has not only made a safe space for our classes, but it has also made it a learning ground for self-advocacy. Amanda expressed how important it is that the students practice skills such as respecting each other’s opinions and work on speech when they don’t agree on something. She also describes the app as a place to get excited about news from the video game realm.
Discord has made it more convenient and possible for students to branch out and connect with others in a revolutionary learning environment. Fellow gaming teacher, Evan Sabourin, expresses that “the great enthusiasm that the students bring in is energizing” which makes for a welcoming and easy-going atmosphere. Evan also mentions that the students can now set up times on their own to meet up online after class to game together, a sign of developing independence outside of the virtual classroom. “It feels in a way we’ve needed this to connect and stay in touch,” says gaming teacher, Nick Vogt. The future of learning is here, and these early signs of success tell us to continue to explore innovative and transformative teaching methods for the educational benefit of our students and educators.