At a Glance

In this guide, you’ll discover how to get started with Slack, from downloading the app to logging in and joining the #ai_teachingandlearning channel—your go-to forum for sharing your experiences, asking questions, and discussing challenges related to teaching with generative AI with fellow MIT Sloan faculty.

What is Slack?

Slack is a chat application for everybody at MIT. It opens up communication in ways that email cannot. Slack enables you to chat with your colleagues at Sloan in real time. You can also join and create Slack channels for topics (both work and non-work related) that interest you.

Example: If you like dogs, you can join the #dogsofsloan channel. Your colleagues regularly share photos of their dogs for you to enjoy. It’s also a great spot to ask about who the best dog walkers in Cambridge are or where to find those salmon-flavored treats your dog has been asking about! 🐶

Download & Use Slack

How do I download Slack? 

Select your device below to download and install the Slack app on your computer or mobile device:  

How do I login to Slack?

  1. Open the Slack app on your device.
  2. Enter the Slack URL of your workspace in the form:
  3. Click Sign in with MIT Touchstone and authenticate via MIT Touchstone. The Slack workspace you specified will open.
  4. You can add yourself to public channels by clicking on Channels in the left-hand column.

Note: It’s possible to login into Slack via the web at using your MIT Kerberos username and password, but we highly recommend the Slack desktop and mobile apps for a better experience.

I’m new to Slack. What terms do I need to know? 

  • Workspace: A Slack workspace is made up of channels, where members can communicate and work together. 
  • Channels: Slack organizes conversations into dedicated spaces called channels. Channels bring order and clarity to work—you can create them for any project, topic, or team. In Slack, channels can be public or private:
    • Public channels promote transparency and inclusivity. Any member of a Slack workspace can view and join a public channel, giving everyone access to the same shared information. Messages or files posted in a public channel can be searched by other members of your workspace.
    • Private channels are for conversations that should not be open to all members. You must be added to a private channel by someone who’s already a member of the channel. Messages or files posted in a private channel can only be searched by members of that channel.
  • Direct Messages: Direct messages (DMs) are smaller conversations in Slack that happen outside of channels. DMs work well for one-off conversations that don’t require an entire channel of people to weigh in, like if you wanted to ask a fellow MIT faculty member to reschedule a meeting. 
  • Mention (@mention): When you send a message and include an @mention, the person you mention will be notified. Type the @ sign followed by a member’s full name or display name. 
  • Threads: Threads help you create organized discussions around specific messages. They let you discuss a topic in more detail without adding clutter to a channel or direct message (DM) conversation. 
  • Notifications: Notifications in Slack keep you informed of the work you care about, whether you’re at your desk or on the move. Use the steps below to customize your desktop, mobile, and email notifications.
    • By default, Slack enables “Do Not Disturb” mode every night from 10PM to 8AM to pause notifications. During these hours, Slack will not send you desktop, mobile, or email notifications. If someone tries messaging you, they will see a warning that you have “Do Not Disturb” on. They can override this by clicking an “urgent” link, but otherwise you will not get the message until after 8AM. You can customize when “Do Not Disturb” is on or turn it off completely in your notification settings.

For a list of all terms, refer to the Slack Glossary. 

How do I learn how to use Slack? 

Slack’s Help Center offers comprehensive resources for new Slack users: 

Is there training available for Slack?

LinkedIn Learning (previously known as offers a comprehensive video series on using Slack. All MIT faculty and staff can access LinkedIn Learning using their MIT email address and password.

Get Support

Get in touch with the STS Help Desk by submitting a ticket or emailing They’ll work with you to get Slack up and running on your devices.