Keeping in Touch with Your Students

In order to assure continuity of teaching and account for students’ different levels of access, we encourage you to have multiple ways of keeping in contact with your students.

Baruch Email (click here to access Baruch webmail)

Make sure you have everyone’s Baruch Email address, which can be found on the CUNYfirst course page or in Blackboard. You can email your students with the “Email” tool on your Blackboard class page and via your Baruch Email account. You can also setup your Baruch Email on your phone by downloading the Outlook app and connecting there. For more information about putting Baruch Email/Outlook on your phone, go here.

Phone Numbers

In the case that the student does not have reliable internet or computer access, or must share it with a parent or sibling who is also working from home, ask your students to share a reliable contact number for them in the case you cannot reach them by other means.


WhatsApp is a popular smartphone application that functions like text messaging, with a few added elements. You can create “groups” that can chat with each other on this application, available for all kinds of phones. It may be an effective way to send quick messages to your whole class or field questions among the whole group. For more information about setting up WhatsApp for your class, visit this page.

Slack and Discord

Slack is a popular web and phone application that also functions like texting, but looks more like a chatroom. It’s characteristically associated with startups, often used for “teams” in the private sector. It allows you to form groups and communicate with all members of those groups, as well as communicate individually. It makes forming small groups or “threads” simple, and has file and image sharing technology. For more information about setting up Slack, visit their information page.

Discord is a very similar, open access platform very similar to Slack. It’s commonly used among teenagers, especially gamers, so your students might be more familiar with it. For more information, check out the Discord site.

Group Updates on Google Docs

You may want to ask students to check in with you at a certain time. Also consider how they can check in with each other. One option could be to ask them to write each week a public update in a shared Google Doc on Google Drive (the host of a suite of technologies similar to Microsoft Office—including Docs (Word), Sheets (Excel), Slides (Powerpoint). For more information about collaborating on shared files in Google Drive and in Google Docs, check out this video.


We recommend using videoconferencing with your students, as you feel comfortable with it. For more information, visit our Video Meetings Guide.