Server Bots

Bots are among the more dynamic features available to Discord. They are also powerful tools that can be used to customize and automate features of your classroom server. Bots can serve a variety of purposes. You can use them to help onboard students, create self-selected roles, manage permissions, stream music, play games, poll students, and so much more. The majority of bots are also DIY projects made by and for Discord users. 

At any rate, let’s get to it.

Disclaimer: if you have no interest at this time in using Discord bots, then by all means skip to the Template Collection module.

Bot Assessment

Not all bots are created equal, yet all bots require some level of access to your server. So it’s important that you evaluate your bots well before inviting them to join. Most are harmless and serve a purely functional purpose when added to your server, but it is key that you do your homework before permitting bots to access your server.

As you will notice when going through the setup process, bots require some level of access to your server’s permissions. For that reason, you will want to choose bots that have been expressly verified by Discord. For a bot to reach more than 100 servers, its developer needs to go through a bot verification process with the folks at Discord. This measure helps keep Discord’s bot ecosystem safe and reliable for users. Once bots are verified, Discord
encourages users to adopt them in order to support user privacy and security.

Like on Twitter and Instagram, these bots will have a Verified check mark to show that they are legitimate.

Bot Integrations

Only the administrator of a server can invite bots to join. Although this is the default for admin, you will also need to have your administrator access turned on in order to incorporate bots into your server. Here below are the steps involved in inviting Discord bots to join your server.

  1. Navigate to the website that hosts the bot you want to add to your server.
  2. Make sure you are logged into the Discord via your web browser. Bot repositories usually require you to sign in with your Discord credentials through their website.
  3. Navigate to the bot that you would like to invite to your server.
  4. Choose the server where you’d like to invite the bot and click Continue.
  5. Review the bot’s permissions as part of your server and click Authorize.
  6. Declare your humanity, and you’re ready to go!

Here is another, more dedicated tutorial on how to add a bot to your server. The bot added in this video is also MEE6 — one of the more popular and dynamic bots available to Discord, with an active presence in just over 3.5 million servers. 

Text Commands 

After you successfully invite a bot to your server, you will have to learn how to use its text commands in order to execute its functions. Usually when a bot joins your server, it will send an automatic message outlining its various commands. This automatic message is good to note for future reference. 

While each bot has different text commands, they all function in more or less the same ways and should be accessible on the web page for the bot or through the automated message it sends to your server upon arrival. 

Here below is an example of the text command for aiode, which is a fully free and open-source music bot that streams songs to your voice channels. The text command below asks the bot to stream a collaborative Spotify playlist to an active voice channel. 

Perhaps the best advice one can give regarding the use of bots in classroom servers is this: play around with them. Tinker with different bots in a test server and rehearse their text commands on your own time. Who knows? You might find one that’s right for you.

It’s only after you develop literacy in a bot that you should then teach with them. Still, Discord bots are particularly inventive and fun in their varied affordances, and if you can manage to effectively repurpose them for learning, your students will thank you.

Discord Bot Resources

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