Have you heard the buzz? Maybe you are on the waitlist already, or maybe you have already explored the brand-new social media app Clubhouse. This hot new app is available on iOS and android, and provides an interactive podcast experience – you don’t send messages or pictures, you enter a room, and you listen and chat on a variety of subjects. It’s no surprise that educators are jumping on the Clubhouse bandwagon. You can meet other educators from around the world, swap ideas, and learn.
What exactly is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is an invite only audio platform where you can start conversations, listen in on discussions or panels and network with other industry professionals, whatever your industry or interest are. When you open the app, you enter a hallway with a variety of different rooms, in which their followers and contacts are embroiled in verbal conversation on a chosen topic. There is no text or image function.
Anyone can start a room and serve as the moderator. This means you get to determine which visitors to the room can get ‘onstage’ to talk during the discussion.
Who uses Clubhouse?
Celebrities, Big-name industry leaders, educators, just about anyone you can imagine. There are over 10 million users and still growing. In the early days, it was mainly technology business leaders and marketers but has quickly expanded. Oprah and Elon Musk are some of the prominent public figures who use Clubhouse just to name a few.
In what ways are educators using Clubhouse?
Teachers and educators today seem to be flocking by the thousands to the app. It’s a great place to meet and make friends with other teachers. Some educators join discussions on topics of personal interest, while others are taking a more leadership role and creating their own rooms and moderating topics. Some of the topics that have recently been discussed on Clubhouse are:
- Supporting Black male educators
- Using hip-hop as an education tool
- How teachers are portrayed in the media
- The teacher shortage crisis
As you can see there is quite the range of discussion topics happening within the app. It’s a great place to learn, discuss classroom challenges and get feedback and network with educators across the globe.
What Clubhouse offers to educators?
Clubhouse gives educators a simple way to share ideas, from classroom content to management difficulties. As such, educators like Sergio Mendoza of Burton School District suggests that the app allows for creativity as a means for students to “share with others their learning, reflections, curiosity, and thinking.”
This app offers educators a chance to network with other educators around the world simply by joining different rooms. It’s like going to an education conference, without having to pay the hefty price of a ticket.
Tips for educators using the app.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you first start using the Clubhouse app. Here are some great tips for educators using the app:
Join the smaller rooms in the beginning.
When you are first starting out on Clubhouse, the bigger rooms can be overwhelming, It’s best to try and find the smaller rooms until you know your way around.
Connect Clubhouse to your social media accounts.
This is a must for educators that use use Twitter or Slack to carry on the discussion after it’s over. They even provide links to resources that other educators can access and use in the classroom.
Are there any privacy, security, and moderation concerns with the Clubhouse App?
Like any new technology, Clubhouse is not without its downsides. There have been reports on some conversations ending up on third-party sites and experts in reverse-engineering have found backdoor pathways to listening in on conversations without appearing in the room. There have also been some accusations of poor moderation, including instances of racism, sexism, and generally misinformation.
With that said, here are 5 ways to prevent concerns from seeping into your Clubhouse experience:
- Allow People To Mask Their Numbers From Search
When accepting an invite to Clubhouse, the app will ask you if you want to follow people in your phone’s contact list. However, that can be a red flag, because you’re essentially allowing the app access to your phone number list – your personal data. Even when you deny the app access, it’ll still allow for other people to find you, regardless if you know them or not.
Therefore, it’s best to mask your phone number from searches on the app. Also, suggest this to your friends and colleagues, so that they’re protected as well.
- Flag Racist And Hateful Content
Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, hate speech, etc. should have no place in Clubhouse. Therefore, it’s important to have moderators weed out bad actors. Also, ensure that people in your party be vigilant on anything suspicious, and report it.
- Block Out Background Noise
Sometimes, you can’t avoid the happenings at home or being in public. That’s why it’s important to block out as much background noise as possible. How? By using earbuds or headphones to lessen the likelihood of the app picking up audio from outside your circle.
Now, this tip is a given: Always use a unique password for your Clubhouse account. Don’t opt for generic or easy-to-guess passwords; you want to make the password as complex and difficult to crack. And, be sure to update the app and your passwords regularly.
- Use A Secondary Phone Number
Before you use your primary phone number for Clubhouse, consider using a secondary phone number instead. The app will download your contacts once you download the app and sign up; this can be problematic, if you sign up with a primary phone number (the number you use the most).
What does the future hold for educators on Clubhouse?
Clubhouse connects educators in ways that weren’t previously possible. In short, as more people use it, a greater understanding is built between people from all walks of life and this interconnectivity will hopefully continue to grow in the future.
Clubhouse offers educators the chance to network, share classroom ideas and grow in a faster more diverse way. Despite some issues, it’s wildly popular among today’s educators and is a great teaching resource.