Zooming Away to Discord — OPINION

While many schools have resorted to Zoom, the usage of Discord makes more logical sense.


Coast Report

Both companies provide a way for people to interact from a long distance. However, Discord had more popularity (and still does) among youth, while Zoom was a hardly-known entity at the time. Due to this, Discord could provide more features and a better-polished atmosphere than Zoom could.

Ariel Clark, Editor

With a stranglehold on schools, COVID completely destroyed what was considered normal in the educational environment.  Several schools have had to switch off-and-on between remote learning and being in-person to teach.  This caused a dilemma.  How were schools suppose to keep in contact with kids if they’re all miles apart from each other?  Their answer was, apparently, Zoom.

Zoom, at the time, was a hardly known anonymity that provided services, allowing users to connect with each other over video and voice in order to keep in touch. This confusing client had to be installed (if wanting to work properly) and required multiple sets in order to set it up (sometimes needing students to access their Self-Service panel just to bypass admin regulations.)  The entire format is basic, with a simple chatroom for those who don’t wish to turn their mic on.  Every time one had to log into Zoom it turned into a hassle and frustrating process, to the point where some students would just not attend altogether.

It’s confusing this was the route that schools took when it came down to distanced learning. Why wouldn’t they use a more popular and diverse site, such as Discord? Discord offers every feature that Zoom offers but improved. Discord servers can host an unlimited number of members, and classrooms would be able to make their own servers and chat rooms for their students (perhaps separated into different sections.) Teachers would be able to assign roles to their students, only allowing them access to certain things, meaning that only one Discord server per teacher would be necessary (if wanted). 

The site can be run on a desktop at the same efficiency as it does when downloaded. There is no detrimental effect to using it on the browser rather than installing it. Students could still join “voice calls” (which also allow the use of video and screen-sharing) and use the chat features to their heart’s content. If teachers find themselves with an issue of students using negative language, they could invite a Discord Bot (something that counts as a “user” but is really there to just help run the server) that could block out certain words and phrases. Students could also be muted and deafened accordingly. Teachers can also have multiple voice calls and chat sections for students to move into if they need to break out into groups (and the teacher could invade each one in order to check out what everyone’s doing.)

Switching to Discord would provide a larger range for what a teacher could do with their students while remote learning. English class feeling dull but you’re out of ideas? Use a writing bot that can supply Prompts for your students every so often. A student keeps deleting what they’ve said? There’s a bot that informs you of every change to a sentence or deletion of a phrase that occurs. While it’s slightly more complex than Zoom, learning Discord is a great way to further progress our classrooms into the modern world and give teachers and students alike more experiences than Zoom could ever hope to offer.