Our organization learned and evolved during the pandemic. To move quickly and efficiently, while engaging life-changers across the district, we need a digital, social, and mobile-friendly platform to share, collaborate, and listen. In order to take our cross-district collaboration to the next level, we are consolidating messaging tools to Google Chat, the most widely used collaboration and messaging tool in our District.
Slack has been a tremendous tool for our central office support teams to communicate across departments and directly with our principals. But as a district, we have been managing four different tools and paying extra for Slack after the company adjusted its pricing structure. This move saves about $60,000 per year.
A legal review into our records retention revealed we needed to consolidate messaging tools in order to meet open records requests and ensure transparency. While records were being maintained to compliance, managing requests and collecting data in a timely manner has been a challenge with so many different tools.
Effective July 1, 2021, we will move district-managed and created channels from Slack to Google Chat.
Please download the Google Chat mobile app (Apple – Google Chat and Android – Google Chat). You will be able to access the chat tool with your Gmail, on the Google Chat website, or by downloading the Google Chat desktop application. Because the tool works with our Google Workspace accounts, you should only have one option for logging in, mirroring the process for Gmail. We will be bringing the same processes and information from Slack to Chat, so the transition should be seamless once you download the new applications.
You will also have access to your data in Slack until the end of October, but we will remove the ability to publish new messages in some of our most widely used channels effective July 1. The technology team will provide details regarding the retirement of Teams in future communication to users.
This decision did not come lightly. We have Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, Skype Messenger, and Slack used in our district. Microsoft is retiring Skype Messenger, and our district usage was highest for Google Chat when compared to Slack and Teams. Also, we continue to expand our district-wide usage of the Google Workspace tools, which tightly integrate with Chat.
Leander ISD piloted Slack as a collaboration and internal communication tool for the School and Community Relations team, the Superintendent’s Cabinet, and its COVID-19 emergency response during the 2019-20 school year.
The district is launching the tool for all schools and staff in the 2020-21 school year.
Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team work together seamlessly. It’s designed to support the way people naturally work together, so you can collaborate with people online as efficiently as you do face-to-face.
Employees need to have their email address and passwords available. Visit leanderisd.slack.com or use a mobile app (enter leanderisd.slack.com on the configure manually prompt) to access our Slack workplace. Using the Azure button, employees can enter their @leanderisd.org email address and password to access Slack.
Training for Slack
You can access the in-progress training modules via this Slack Training Google Doc (staff only). The Slack website also has a ton of great resources available for learning.
Support for Slack
Once you’re in Slack, you can access the #scr-slack channel to ask us questions. You can submit a Let’s Talk if you need help with logging in or creating a group or channel.