Clubhouse is a social media app that's got a lot of buzz around it as an invite-only platform that's creating some serious FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
At its most basic, it is an audio only app, but the way it's being used is powerful, allowing people to listen in to chat or join in. Think conference space, but in your pocket.
From a teaching perspective, Clubhouse can be a very useful way of connecting with the teaching community and beyond. It allows for sharing of ideas, feelings, and plans. During times of remote learning, this is an ideal solution to the distance that can stilt natural conversation in groups.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Clubhouse.
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What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a social media app which is only available on iOS devices at the time of publishing. It is an audio-only platform in which users can publish their talks or have others listen in.
As a user of the platform it's possible to listen in to a talk, a bit like being at a TED conference, but in this case you can raise a hand to join in if invited.
Clubhouse is invite only, meaning you can't just download and start using, you have to find a member who has some invites left to share with you. The good news, though, is that they don't have to be a part of any particular community, such as teaching, so anybody you know will do.
Clubhouse is useful to teachers but could also be useful to students. If you spot an interesting talk or group that relates to a certain subject you're teaching, it could be flagged to students with access as extra research.
How does Clubhouse work?
Clubhouse can be downloaded onto an iPhone or iPad and installed. It then will ask you to sign in using an account you create. But it's only when you have someone invite you in, using that email, that'll you'll be able to start using the app.
You can start to find users that might be of interest to you by browsing groups and finding those you wish to follow. You can also find people outside of the app, using other platforms in which they might publish their thoughts and work. So if you're following a teacher on Twitter, for example, you may find they use the same handle as their name in Clubhouse, making them easy to find.
Once you find a "room" that interests you, enter as a listener and, if you're made an admin by the speaker, you can also raise your hand to request to speak. Or set up your own room and invite others to get your voice heard and have a discussion.
Clubhouse can be used by teachers to, effectively, engage in a 24/7 staff room that is filled with a vast array of different teachers, administrators, artists, scientists, thinkers, businesses, creators, innovators, influencers, and others. All having conversations that could relate to what you're thinking about – or hadn't yet thought to think on.
From general knowledge, to pedagogy to a specific subject matter – there are lots of areas to engage in.
What are the best Clubhouse features?
Clubhouse features some great rooms for teachers including the Ed Clubhouse discussion that happens on Wednesdays. These have varying topics that cover the likes of the curriculum, school culture, and more. This works with structured discussions that are open for attendees to offer questions and create debate.
The audio-based nature of this platform is very appealing as it allows for wider use. For example, you can listen in to a conference that may had previously had to get on a plane to reach. Now rather than the hassle of travel and booking a hotel room, you can listen on your phone while out walking the dog.
Clubhouse not only offers a place to learn, for teachers, but also a space to commiserate with one another. This is especially helpful during the move to remote learning during which teachers can not only feel lost but also a little overwhelmed. Sharing that with like-minded fellow educators can offer great relief.
Some useful educators and beyond for teachers to follow in Clubhouse include:
- @simply_saraj - Atlanta educator Sarrita Allen
- @askdrq - education researcher Sabba Quidwai
- @lportnoy - cognitive scientist and author of Design to Learn Lindsay Portnoy
- @MomOfAllCapes - Let's K12 Better Podcast host Amber Coleman-Mortley
- @holyyclarkedu - Infused Classroom series author Holly Clark
How much does Clubhouse cost?
Clubhouse is totally free to download and use. That's not an issue, but actually getting into that free platform is the challenge.
The easiest way is to have someone you know that uses Clubhouse invite you in. Since invites are limited for each user, they may have already used up all of theirs. It may pay to try other social media platforms and ask around to see if anyone has spare invites to get you going.