Dear all,

Thank you for joining us at LLP!

As you may be aware, we are dedicated to creating a community of practice around the intersection of games and language/literacy teaching. We want to create a community of practice not only to help authors to publish with LLP but to share information on current projects, research, writing, trends and of course #random discussions to unwind and get to know each other. Yes, providing updates on your projects is hard (that’s probably why most of us do not blog, right?!) but keeping in touch with colleagues is the only way we are going to grow the GBLT field, and we believe this project is worth that extra effort. Who’s with us? 💪💪💪

We have trawled the internet to find where the discussion about games and education is happening and were disappointed with what we found. 🔎 Google groups devoid of posts. FB groups filled with self-promotion and chats about “what game are you playing” rather than “what approach to education do you follow?” Twitter chats that never go anywhere. Email lists that only announce calls for papers…

We like Slack. And we think we can do better here. We believe it is a tool which is easier to read than email and more robust and fit for developing discussions than Twitter, Facebook, Discord or anything else we’ve tried. Related to that: if you DO know a great place or tool for getting involved in GBLT chat, let us know!! Also, if you have ideas about how to support people’s interests with tools like Slack, we are all ears!

BUT, the problem with Slack is that not everyone is familiar with how to use it… 😔

We believe that the small effort in setting up the LLP Slack on your devices is not only a worthwhile thing to do, but we are also setting Slack as the default communication tool for LLP. That’s right, all important announcements and information will be passed through the LLP Slack from this point moving forward.

TL;DR: if you’re not on Slack with us, you’re missing out on important discussions. Slack may be hard to set up, which is why we are writing this to help you stay in the loop.

Get Slack 📥

Slack is available for pretty much every device you can imagine. Go get it: https://slack.com/

We recommend grabbing it for desktop, but mobile is the best for getting notifications which leads to the next section.

Configure Slack 🔧

The following three sub-headings outline the best practices regarding Slack set up.

1. Join channels

You can join channels by clicking on “Channels” in the sidebar

If you are not in a specific channel, you can join them here.

2. Create your own channels

From the Browse channel menu, you can also create your own channels.

Please consider creating a channel for any projects that you are working on, to share WIPs, to ask questions, to ask for advice, to #humblebrag!

3. Get notifications (sparingly!)

This part of the guide is the most important. Don’t want to get a new message every time James posts a techno mix in #random? Sick of hearing about how much of an awesome teacher @Zack is over on #heylistengames? There’s an antidote for that: TURN OFF (some) NOTIFICATIONS 🔕. Here’s how.

From the preferences menu

It is possible to set up your notification preferences in the following way:

We recommend keeping the default setting to “all new messages” and then setting individual notification settings per channel. (see the next section). Setting notifications to “mentions only” is also a reasonable option. Setting notifications to “nothing” is not recommended, but if you are diligent at checking in to the LLP Slack, then great!

In a channel

Channels can also be set up with the above options on an individual basis. This means you can get notifications for “all messages” from channels that are important to you, “@ mentions” from those that are less important and “mute” the channels you are not interested in. Here’s how: 

From a channel, you can click the ⚙️ to set up your notification preferences for that channel.

Notification preferences allow you to set notifications for that channel.

Alternatively, if you just want to mute a channel, you can right-click on it from the sidebar menu and mute it from there.