COVID learning pushed students online, and even as many return to the classroom, tech tools are more important than ever

3 tech tools to engage students beyond the physical classroom


COVID learning pushed students online, and even as many return to the classroom, tech tools are more important than ever

There is no doubt that education-focused technology has taken the world by storm over the last year. As a matter of fact, new research suggests that the federal government, state governments, and local school districts combined spend somewhere between $26 billion and $41 billion per year on edtech. Some disagree on the finer nuances of these figures, but one thing is for sure—tech tools are becoming more and more intertwined within the fabric of our educational systems.

One factor contributing significantly to the recent surge in the deployment of tech tools has been the pandemic. However, as remote learning begins to ease and in-class sessions start back up, more and more of these technologies will fade into the background. The tech tools with staying power are those possessing utility beyond the classroom—those that can be adopted for things like remote afterschool programming and tutoring sessions. These include technologies that aren’t meant to replace physical learning, but instead enhance it.

Here are three new tech tools that educators should think of when looking to engage students beyond the physical classroom: 

Mote

Mote is a Google Chrome extension that enables educators to leave voice feedback on assignments via Google Docs, Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Forms, and more. Mote provides a transcription of the voice note so students get the benefit of both delivery methods. Motes don’t expire, either, so students have a permanent audio note and written transcript to which they can refer anytime.

Mote helps teachers connect with students in a more meaningful way through their feedback. If a student’s work is outstanding, a voice note can convey enthusiasm even more clearly than a glowing written comment.  By contrast, if a student’s work needs improvement, educators can provide a more emotive response.

Voice feedback is especially powerful for language learning because teachers can provide guidance on pronunciation in native language, learned language, or a mixture of both. Mote supports transcription in more than 20 languages, and it’s easy to switch between languages from voice note to voice note, or to temporarily disable transcription if desired.

As Mote Co-founder and CEO Will Jackson put it, “sometimes expressing our ideas clearly in an email or document is really hard. Voice messaging is a beautifully simple way to convey what we really mean and make a human connection.”

Profi

Tutors and coaches are an important part of afterschool learning. Students who need extra help, or an extra edge, rely on these educational professionals to get them to where they need to be. Profi is an all-in-one solution that makes remote tutoring and coaching easier.

The Profi platform provides turnkey, holistic tools and workflow automations that help educators increase student engagement, manage teams and services, provide customized educational experiences, securely collaborate, and more. The platform is flexible and can scale as a professional’s learning and development business grows. The end result is an all-in-one solution that helps busy educators automate cumbersome administrative tasks, allowing them to focus more on helping students grow.

When asked what makes Profi so unique, Alina Trigubenko, founder and CEO of Profi, says, “the Profi team has worked diligently to develop the most comprehensive platform available for professional service providers like coaches, tutors, trainers and therapists. Traditional tools are fragmented and don’t take into account the unique needs of today’s busy, remote working education professionals and their clients. There is no other all-in-one platform that is specific to this niche.”

Arist

From the start, Arist was designed to help educators meet students where they are. And it offers an effective way for teachers to engage students beyond the classroom with a concept referred to as “microlearning.” Put simply, microlearning is a delivery format where users receive short-form content, usually via text message or other short-form mediums, over an extended period. The American Institute of Physics found that 90 percent of respondents welcomed a microlearning approach to learning, compared to 75 percent for email, 72 percent for video clips, and 65 percent for images. 

When comparing microlearning to traditional learning, the research also found that 82 percent of users rated microlearning as holistic and user-friendly, compared to less than 25 percent for traditional learning. That’s why institutions like Babson College use text-based microlearning as a supplement to their online learning initiatives. And text-based microlearning is cost-effective too.

“When compared to other e-learning methodologies, microlearning takes less time and money to produce,” said Arist co-founder and CEO Michael Ioffe. “It takes anywhere from 90 to 204 hours, and $10,000 on average, to produce an hour of e-learning content. In comparison, text-based microlearning course creation takes less than a week, and can be done with zero production costs.”  Text-based microlearning is also an accessible way to deliver programming. Not every family has access to a computer and high-speed internet, but almost all have a way to receive text messages. For engagement beyond the classroom, text-based microlearning meets students where they are, when they have time to learn. 

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