In order to stay connected with kids for remote activities, Trackside is starting a Discord Server! Here is some information for parents about what Discord is, how it works, and how Trackside is using it.
Discord is basically a chat room/messaging system. Anyone can create a server that is essentially a hub for chat rooms or “channels”. The channels are the “rooms” that can be set up for whatever purpose we want. They are by default text chat rooms with restrictions we can set up (such as disabling the ability to post links/upload videos or images, not allow deleting of messages, etc). Discord can be run through a browser like chrome, or through a PC desktop app, or through its mobile app on phones/tablets.
Server access is by invitation only. We can create a link to share that allows kids to enter. Once someone joins a server, it’s always accessible unless they are kicked/banned. In order to have control over when the rooms are open and monitored, it’s set so that upon entering the server, only the “waiting room” is accessible. The waiting room has chat disabled so you can only read the rules and wait to be “checked in” which is us Moderators granting access to the other rooms. This way Trackside mods can go through and only allow kids with their real names to have access and we can have the rooms effectively closed outside our “open hours” which prevents the kids from being on our server without anyone monitoring. In addition to texting rooms, we can create voice chat rooms. These rooms not only allow everyone to speak to each other, but also allow live streaming. That means Trackside can stream a movie, share a screen to host games like Jackbox, Kahoot Trivia, Smash Bros tournament brackets, or just allow open voice chat.
Parents need to understand however that we can only control what we see and allow on our server. We can’t stop kids from private messaging each other, setting up their own rooms, or accessing other rooms. Parents need to supervise and check that content filtering is on and take the same common sense precautions they should be taking for any of their kids' internet usage. Here’s a page from Discord’s website with good info for parents of what discord is and what settings to enable on their end to protect kid's privacy and content filtering.
This will hopefully be a great opportunity for Trackside to stay connected and host some fun activities while stuck at home.
Click the registration button below to receive an invite link to our Discord Server:
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Trackside, the Teen Center of Wilton is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing the youth of Wilton with a safe and supervised drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free gathering place to build self esteem and develop healthy relationships after school and on weekends. To make a tax deductible donation or volunteer, please contact us at email@example.com