Class discussions

How to best host class discussions is an important question: need to make it accessible to students, and world-viewable, but also prevent spam (“Learn how I made money from home using ….”). I thought of a WordPress plugin but that can result in a static discussion: basically a series of posts, which can relate to each other, but lacks the fluidity of an IRC-like chat. IRC itself is fun to use, but it has declining usage. Slack is popular, but requires students to hook into a new system and the free version has a limited number of saved posts. I’ve decided, for now, to go with Gitter. Bad points are that it’s closed source; good points are that it has no limits on searchable content. It requires a login from GitHub. This seemed a disadvantage at first but thinking about it more, it may reduce spam and may encourage students to engage with open source software more. Thus, the discussion channel for now is