Slack is a system that is like a combination of instant messaging, email, and forums. We’ll use Slack in the class for annoucements, discussions, and getting help.

The URL for Slack for our class is

To get connected to Slack, visit the above url and sign up using your email address.


Download one of the many Slack apps so that you can stay caught up on what’s happening in class. Remember that this is the main way I will use to communicate with you, so installing one of the phone apps is a very good idea. More information about getting Slack to notify you can be found on this Slack support page, including setting up email notification.


Slack is organized into “channels,” which are topic-specifc areas. I’ve set up a number of channels to start with, and may add some more as the semester proceeds. Slack organizes channels alphabetically. At the start of class, we have:

  • #general: For general questions and discussions that don’t fit into any of the other channels. I’ll also post announcements, including new assignments, readings, and so on here.
  • #ia1: I’ll create a channel for each assignment. This channel is for Individual Assignment 1. You can use this to ask questions specifically about IA1, post tips and inspirations, or anything else related to the assignment.
  • #inspirations: Post general inspirations and examples of Internet-enabled and wearable devices here.
  • #random: For stuff unrelated or only somewhat related to class. Jokes, funny videos, etc. Be nice.
  • #setup: If you have issues or tips around getting set up for the assignments, post here.


If you want to ensure that someone (such as me) sees your message, use a mention. You do this like Twitter: use the @ symbol with the person’s username. For example: @dan I'm missing a wire from my kit. When you type the @ symbol Slack will show you a list of people so you don’t have to remember usernames.

Direct messages

You can do a direct chat with someone via the Direct Messages menu on the left. This can be seen only by the two people involved in the chat. So if you direct message another student, I will not be able to see it. You can use direct messages to communicate with me regarding confidential class matters such as grades. If you have questions which might benefit other students with the answers, please post them to one of the public channels (and optionally use @dan to get my attention).

More help

The Slack support site has many articles on using Slack. Or you can post a question to #general.