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Top Hat Adds Communication and Community Tools

Top Hat Slate

Active learning courseware platform Top Hat has introduced Slate, an integrated communication tool that enables course announcements, real-time discussions, project collaborations, peer connections, community building and more, all in one centralized hub.

"As most educators and institutions plan for a primarily online or hybrid teaching format in the fall, they're facing an uphill battle to deliver educational ROI to students in a virtual setting," said Mike Silagadze, founder and CEO of Top Hat, in a statement. "We know students are expecting a more engaging, interactive, and human experience than they had during the last academic term…. During a time when students are physically dispersed all over the country and even the world, Slate will help educators and institutions maintain that sense of community and belonging even after students can safely return to campus."

Among Slate's features:

  • Live chat and videoconference tools;
  • Private group channels for collaboration;
  • Poll, contest and quiz functions;
  • Channels for announcements or specific topics; and
  • Discussion and messaging tools with community moderation controls.

"We are just as isolated in the online environment as students are," commented Laura Freberg, professor of psychology at California Polytechnic State University. "Slate makes it easy to do a pulse-check with my students to see how they're doing. I can also easily monitor the chitchat amongst students and jump in to the conversation to offer support with resources or a reminder about my office hours. What I really love about Slate is the conversation between students that mimics those that they would have had in person at the beginning of class."

Slate can be used on any desktop browser as well as iOS and Android devices. For more information, visit the Top Hat site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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