Tools: Slack FAQ

For Inquiries into Teaching & Learning Students (TCHL-UE 1 & TCHL-GE2010) only.

What is Slack?

Slack is a messaging and collaboration system:

  • Channels: Slack’s channels help you focus your discussion by enabling you to separate messages, discussions and notifications by the school for which you visited (i.e., Primary vs. Secondary). These channels are already determined for you.
  • Direct Messages: When you need to send a message to one person (like a professor or a teacher) instead of a group, Slack provides traditional instant messaging functionality for you to do so:


How can I access Slack?


How do I get an account?

For the Inquiries into Teaching & Learning Students course, you will be sent an invitation inviting you to register for a Slack Account. Please check your SPAM folder if you have not received an invitation. Your channels should be pre-set for you to begin.


When will I use Slack?

As an Inquiries in Teaching & Learning student, you will use Slack several times throughout the semester in Theme 3 once you have visited your specific schools. Specifically, you will use Slack in weeks 8 through 11 when your visits are scheduled.  Depending on your section, you may also use Slack for additional discussion-related activities.

How will I use Slack?

The purpose of Slack is to provide you with a platform to self-facilitate an open discussion of your visit. Using the prompts provided in the school's channel, respond thoughtfully. IMPORTANT: order to maintain U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)  compliance, it is paramount that you respect the privacy and anonymity of the students (children) you will observe in these classrooms. Please follow these guidelines when discussing your observations:

  1. Do not use any child's real name if you are quoting or referring to children.
  2. You do NOT have permission to take photos of children at these schools (You will when you are a student teacher).  If you wish to take a picture of a bulletin board or classroom set up--ask the hosting teacher first-- and do it in such a way that you avoid the faces of kids.  Pictures are not required for your reflections in this course but you might see something you'd like to remember for your future use.
  3. Avoid language that labels or judges when sharing your reflections.  Remember that our focus is to take an inquiry stance that reflects "wondering" and remains characterized by tentative hunches and possible connections to texts.

Understanding FERPA

NYU FERPA Guidance


How can I get help?

Visit the following links to learn more about how to participate in conversations on Slack:

Slack Glossary

As you're getting started on Slack, there are some common terms that are handy for you to know. Here's an overview of Slack basics.


Understanding Channels and Direct Messages

Your group can talk about a variety of topics: observations, issues, ideas, etc. Most of this information is useful to everyone, but not every discussion needs to be seen by your entire group. That's why Slack provides a few different ways to have a conversation: channels, private channels, and direct messages.


Sending and Reading Messages

  • Sending and reading messages in Slack is dead simple. It's what Slack's all about!

Slack Help Center

  • If you cannot find the answer to your question in the help center,  please contact Slack directly for further support.

**Please note that Slack is not a University supported application. For additional information visit

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