I was delighted to be joined by two of our marvellous Mote Ambassadors – Brittany Horn and Nicole Reynolds – in a pop-up PD with Mote. They’re both awesome and deserve a follow!
In just 10 minutes, they generously shared over 10 brilliant examples of how Mote QR codes have had an amazing impact on accessibility, connection and more in their own learning communities and beyond!
Nicole generously shared lots of ideas in which she has creatively used audio QR codes with her staff and students.
Community Wide Appreciation with Voice!
Students can record for others – a great and simple way for young people to share admiration: for each other, teachers and parents.
Families/Room Parents – voice notes to express thanks for the awesome work of educators!
Other teachers/staff members – spread the love outside the classroom.
Administration Team – leave notes of encouragement and affirmation for your amazing team.
Media Center Coordinators ( book notes) – use your voice in a variety of ways here: reviews, thank you notes and more!
Instructional Coaches – praise your team for taking on a challenge and integrating technology in a purposeful way!
Audio Affirmations for Students
Greetings cards – whether it’s a birthday or something else worthy of celebrating: why not try adding your voice!
Awards and Certificates – everyone loves acknowledgement of hard work and achievement: level up your affirmation game by adding voice.
Extra, Extra – hear all about it!
Want more ideas from Nicole? Jump into the video here to find out more about how she and her community have used audio QR codes for:
Accessible stickers for student work
Notes in hallways
Notes on door
Brittany started by celebrating the impact of using voice to 10x notes that she might have left with sticky notes – as it really emphasizes ‘the personalization’ to help build connection.
In her district, Brittany runs sessions on Mote for her staff called ‘Holy GuacaMOTEly!’. You can find lots of info on how they have used QR codes and more by searching on socials and/or clicking here! It’s impossible not to be inspired – as show below by two of the teaching team that have benefitted from Mote QR codes, in both the receiving and creating!
The way that audio affirmations work for the community at NISD is utterly inspirational! If you’d like to bring this simple and powerful practice to your own school, you can access the template here.
Mote Ambassador Program
I am proud that both Nicole and Brittany are Mote Ambassadors! We’re always looking for more innovative educators to join the community. Find out more by visiting the community page on our website.
Given all that we’ve been through in these past couple of years and a shift toward wider appreciation of the power of asynchronous learning, it becomes all the more important to expand our usage of these awesomely powerful tools!
One way to do this is to add voice to our slide decks. This is how to do it in each of Slides, Keynote and PowerPoint
Google launched the ability to add audio to slide decks in 2019. There are two ways to do it:
Use a third party voice recorder to create an audio file > download this file > upload to Google Drive > Insert – Audio in your slide deck.
Use Mote to do all of this for you and reduce the process to a couple of clicks!
Apple offers a version of Keynote both as a standalone app (both MacOS and iOS) and a web based application. Currently, only the standalone app supports insertion of audio files.
With PowerPoint, it’s possible to add audio through both web based and standalone applications!
In the web-based version, tapping ‘Audio’ allows you to upload any audio file already saved to your device.
In the standalone application, users can add voice notes and more to their presentations by clicking on audio and choosing to either upload audio from their computer (‘audio on my PC’) or to record sound directly onto the deck.
Even the shortest email can take a long time – worrying about everything from greeting to sign off and all that’s in between! AND, even when you think you’ve got it right… you still have concerns over the tone. Simply put – written copy, however good, just cannot convey the same sense of person as voice!
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a tool out there allowing users to add audio to their Gmail messages?! Good news for you: there is and it’s called Mote!!
Install the Mote Chrome extension by visiting this link on the Chrome Web Store.
Open up Gmail and start to compose a new message; you will see the Mote icon next to the send button. Once recorded, all that you need to do is send! Take look at this video below for a quick run through:
Anyone that receives an email message containing a mote, will see the clickable card.
Those that have Mote installed will be able to listen to the voice note, without leaving the message.
Anyone accessing without Mote, will be taken to the landing page for the voice note where they can hear and read any voice to text transcription.
The most recent Teacher Wellbeing Index reports that 77% of teachers experienced symptoms of poor mental health due to their work and 54% have considered leaving the sector in the past two years due to pressures on their mental health.
There is no silver bullet to the problem. The 5 apps below are merely some of the many technology tools out there that may help in some way.
Have any that you’ve explored and benefitted from? Please let us know and share as a comment.
5 Minute Journal
The 5 Minute Journal is a great way to start and end your day. The journal has sections for you to write about what you’re grateful for, affirmations, and spaces to set goals.
It’s quick and easy to use which makes it perfect for a busy teacher who doesn’t have much time in their day.
Breethe is a freemium app that brings meditation into your life in a way that feels both accessible and challenging. It’s not about clearing your mind or emptying the contents of your thoughts, but instead it aims to help you be the best version of yourself by filling the space between them with stillness.
Clanbeat helps students build positive learning habits with our regular reflection nudges, work planner and goal setting features. Actionable insights on students’ mood allow ny potential issues to be identified and tackled before they arise; supporting your students and saving your time!
Their website says “Think of Headspace as your mind’s best friend. We’re here for you whenever you need us, wherever you are, helping you get through tough times and find joy in every day.’ Offering free access to teachers through this link – it’s definitely worth a look.
Feedback is an art. It immeasurable value in learning (see Mote’s Feedback Masterclass) and takes time to do well. Sometimes a LOT of time. With Mote, not only will using your voice make it 3x faster to leave feedback. The intonation will alleviate any concerns over misunderstanding and help build rapport with your learners.
Have you ever needed to insert your voice into a survey that you’ve been creating? Perhaps you’re trying to find a way for your students to respond with their voice in a form? Mote and Google Forms to the rescue!! 🦸◡🦸
Here are 4 ways that Mote allows our community to add voice notes to Google Forms; as both creator and respondent!
As creator (teacher)
1. Question Description
Why Make questions accessible and more engaging for all
How – Open a new question and press the Mote button – Tap button again to finish
What – you’ve now added a voice note to a question description in Forms! If you’d like to check how it looks/plays, view the form in preview mode.
2. Multiple choice options
Why Whether it’s in the world language classroom or responding to a verbal cue, some forms of assessment may require respondents to pick from a number of different audio options.
How – Open up the Motepad by tapping on the Mote extension – Click on ‘record a mote’ – Paste the auto-copied link into your multiple choice question – Repeat process for all required
What Congrats! You’ve added audio options within a multiple choice question.
3. Audio feedback
Why When your students respond to a self-marking quiz, it’s nice for them to get feedback. It’s even better if it’s personalized. It’s better still if it’s their teacher’s voice! Guess what? Mote allows anyone to do this.
How – Set your Google Form up as a quiz – Click ‘add answer feedback’ – Leave a mote in both correct and incorrect feedback – Done!
What Congrats! Your students will get a much better experience when they submit their answers via a Google Form now – right or not, they will hear your voice!
As respondent (student)
Maybe you’re a world languages teacher; perhaps you want to use Forms as a daily reflection tool for your students; maybe you just want to give your learners another way to express their understanding. For all of these examples and more – Mote is delighted to allow respondents to Google Forms the option of answering with their voice!
Why Whether it’s saving time, accessibility, tone or language learning… there are so many ways why this is important and a game changer!
How With Mote installed, when a student opens up a Google Form, they will notice a mote button in all of the places they are able to record a verbal response.
What Now you’ve made your form, you and your students will get the best all-round Google Form voice experience ever! Only warning is this: students will become super engaged and want more (and more) opportunities to leave their voice in Forms!! 🚀
Head over to YouTube to watch our Google Form videos!
Every learner is unique and the challenge of being able to check understanding for all of your students can be amplified for an already overstretched teacher trying to accommodate the needs of all the class and learner variability. With lots of excellent digital tools out there, help is at hand.
Navigating the landscape and finding the right technology can be tricky. Below is a list of 5 Chrome Extensions that I’m using and know have had great success in classrooms across the world.
Helperbird provides personalized support to make web pages, PDFs and documents more accessible. It’s designed to help everyone in a way that suits unique abilities. Providing from targeted features for dyslexia to lifelike text to speech, it allows easy customization for different needs.
JustRead is a Chrome extension that provides a super clean reader view in Chrome. It does this brilliantly by removing distractions like ads, popups and comments from the screen. The JustRead extension can be customized to suit your needs by adding or removing features.
At Mote, we’re proud to be able offer voice powered solutions for accessibility: – Ease with which voice can be heard and understood. – Instant voice to text transcription and translation into 30 languages (number rising all the time) – Seamless integration throughout Google Workspace
SwiftRead is promoted as allowing its users to ‘Read two or three times faster, with SwiftRead. Absorb knowledge and learn faster.’
More than this, it allows for another way in which distractions can be removed by focusing only on one word at a time.
Texthelp’s Read&Write provides personalized support to make documents, web pages and common file types in Google Drive (including: Google Docs, PDF & ePub) more accessible. It’s designed to help everyone engage with digital content in a way that suits their own abilities and learning styles.
Excellent beginners lavelier. Great sounds and cheap On step up from the Boya (above) for great sound is the Rode SmartLav. Make sure you plug these into an external recorder or use your phone as a recorder. The difference in quality is very noticeable.
Sometimes words alone just aren’t enough. They don’t quite capture the tone we’re trying to express nor do they provide easily accessible content for all.
Enter: Mote and our new audio embed codes!
Whether you’re using your voice to add extra levels of engagement to a Google Site or wanting to help your learners understand an assignment shared through Canvas, this is an option that you do not want to miss!
It couldn’t be easier! Check out this 60 second video from our #moteminutes series on YouTube and get going with audio embed codes today!
I have no doubt that there is so much that you, your team and your learners will be able to do with this feature. Please share anything that you do with our social channels – we’d love to hear and perhaps even feature your work to share with our wider community of global educators!
One of our Ambassadors, Daren White (UK), suggested this:
Website introductions, especially if classes are using sites as a digital portfolio – imagine all those voices proudly showing off their work!
Mote is delighted to welcome Kim House as guest author for this post! Kim has been a primary school educator for 20 years, serving 12 years as a Technology Integration Specialist at the Bavarian International School in Munich, Germany. She is both a Google Certified Trainer and Coach, an Apple Distinguished Educator and chairperson for the ECIS Technology Innovation and Design Committee.
As an international school educator, Mote is one of the simplest and most powerful tools I can use to increase student engagement, understanding, and access to learning. International schools often have a high population of non-native English speakers and ELL students at various levels. Strategies we use to help ELL students and those needing learning assistance can also be powerful tools for any student! Mote allows teachers to make learning more accessible and also tap into students’ understanding whilst saving time. Win-win!
Here are my 6 reasons why Mote voice notes are an essential for international schools…
1. Translate and transcribe voice comments into 25 different languages 🌎
This is at the heart of why Mote is so effective for international school students. At its core, voice notes enable teachers to leave comments, feedback, and instructions that can be quickly transcribed and translated into 25 different languages. Hearing and seeing the text reinforces understanding. Learning becomes instantly accessible to everyone and is offered in multiple formats so students can choose what works best for them. Read John Hattie’s thoughts on feedback.
2. Make Google Classroom Assignments easy to access for everyone 🙌
Mote is embedded across Google Workspace and can be used in different products. Add voice instructions to your Classroom assignment instructions, posts, feedback and as part of the grading workflow. Voice notes provide scaffolding to ensure all students are clear on instructions and feedback. Using the translation features here really brings it home for ELL students.
3. Level up Creativity in Google Slides with Mote! 🥳
Students and teachers can add their voice to Slides.
Teachers using a shared slide deck can add voice to engage, explain and increase understanding.
Students can add voice to demonstrate learning and activate an alternative avenue of creativity. Students who prefer to explain orally have a pathway to show what they know.
4. Make your Google Forms phenomenal with voice responses! 🗣️
Yes, voice responses!!!
Imagine not only for foreign language classes but also for our EAL students or any student struggling with writing. Integrating audio into. form works especially well for more open-form questions.
For foreign language or EAL classes it could be used to assess fluency, pronunciation, understanding and comprehension. Quick, simple and effective– win-win!
5. Check engagementand start a conversation! 👋
Quickly see if students have listened to voice notes all in one place! Once a student has listened to a voice note you’ll see the status in the ‘My Activity’ area.
This is a great way to flag students you might want to remind or check in with in person. Students can also respond to your notes thereby starting a conversation about their learning.
Improving this feature all the time, it’s possible to filter by student – a great option for conferences!
“Mote is not only a tool for instant verbal feedback, it creates connection, builds rapport and decreases barriers for those students with reading difficulties or with English as a second language. Even better….it is a 2-way tool.”