November 29, 2020
Trello vs Slack: Which Tool is Better for Teaching?

Trello vs Slack: Which Tool is Better for Teaching?

Trello vs Slack is an all-too-common comparison ardent users make. Unfortunately, this comparison is not very helpful, particularly if you are trying to find out how best to use them.

First off, the tools don’t have the same functions. While Trello is more of a workflow management system that lets users organize tasks using boards, Slack works more as an instant messaging app for the workplace and can be used to accomplish task management.

For this reason, comparing Trello vs Slack won’t really do much good unless you want to choose one app over the other for your specific task. But why chose one over the other when you can get the best of both worlds? Consider learning how both tools can be used together to deliver better results – in this case, to teach and manage students’ activities more effectively.

This article gives you a quick summary of where both tools excel individually. Plus, you will get to see how you can use them for better teaching.

Trello for Teaching

Trello is undoubtedly one of the most impressive workflow management tools available. It offers a quick and easy way to manage simple projects and tasks. All the different tasks in Trello are grouped into cards and categorized into columns on a board. The system provides templates suitable for different workflows, including video production, content writing, podcast production, and event planning.

team tasks

How Trello Fits Into Teaching

Apart from helping students to manage their projects, Trello is an effective tool for planning lessons. Besides, it is a great tool if you want your students to collaborate. It allows students to show their work by adding files, photos, and post links all on one board.

Each student can create cards detailing the steps required to accomplish a project, including the due dates for submission. All of these can be arranged on the Trello board using simply dragging and dropping onto the board.

Teachers can simply open a board and see each student’s progress as they check tasks off the list. Trello is visually friendly, making it suitable for teaching kids.

Trello is available for free and also has a paid version. Pricing for the premium plan starts at $9.9 per user per month for an annual contract.

Slack for Teaching

Slack is an instant messaging app for the workplace. It is an excellent tool for staying in touch with team members and works best for organizing conversations by topic and collaborative tasks, among others.

slack announcements

Although it is not designed to function as a project management tool, it can be used to schedule reminder messages for the user and team members alike. One of Slack’s best features is its ability to integrate with other systems such as Wrike, Asana, and Trello.

How Slack Fits Into Teaching

Slack has chat room features that eliminate the need for back and forth emails. The conversation channels allow you to include files and links containing projects and assignments for your students. Slack offers an effective way of sharing information and resources for students and engage them in a one-on-one conversation.

Slack is available for a free plan and premium plans. Pricing for the premium plan starts at $6.67 per user per month for an annual contract.

Trello vs Slack: Combining Both Tools for Better Teaching

As have already been suggested, both Trello and Slack offer useful capabilities that educators can use to improve their daily tasks, whether that is managing students’ projects and assignments or efficient communication.

As a teacher or an educator, you do not need to focus on the Trello vs Slack debate. Instead, pay more attention to how the duo can work in harmony since both apps can interface seamlessly.

There are two major ways to get these two to work together. These are:

  • The Slack Power-Up in Trello
  • The Trello App for Slack

The Slack Power-Up in Trello

You can trigger actions in Slack while working in Trello with the Slack Power-Up add-on. For example, you can remind students of upcoming due dates for projects and assignments on cards. You can also use the Power-Up to share cards with an entire class or in a DM to a particular student or co-teacher. It also lets you link to a Trello card and assign a board in Trello to a specific channel in Slack.

The Trello App for Slack

With the Trello app for Slack, you are essentially reversing the Slack Power-Up roles in Trello. The add-on allows you to work in Slack while effecting actions in Trello. This is done with a few Slash Commands in Slack’s message field. Simply type a slash followed by a command. Here are three common Slash Command examples that can be useful to educators:

  • /invite: This is used to invite someone (a student or co-teacher) to a channel
  • /remind: This is used to send reminders to all your students or teams and even to yourself
  • /collapse: This is used to hide or collapse files in a channel. As Slack has aptly been described as “a private Twitter on steroids,” it is not out of place for GIFs to fly around in the instant messaging app. You can hide all of those distractions to allow only relevant messages to be shown

But here’s where it gets interesting. You can use the /trello command to create cards from Slack. That means you can add conversations with your students from Slack to cards in Trello. You can also use the add-on to join cards and boards, update due dates, and perform other tasks. When set up properly, you can receive notifications on Slack as soon as your students make any edits on a Trello card.

In Closing

Trello vs Slack is not a fair comparison since both apps are designed for different purposes. However, both include features that complement each other. And that’s where educators need to cash in and make the best of the duo.

Whether or not these tools are specifically designed for education, teachers can use them to improve their teaching experience.