Education Product updates

Fixing feedback & launching Loops

Mote’s new ‘Loops’ product makes written and verbal feedback more engaging for students and more measurable for educators

Mote and feedback

Feedback has been central to Mote’s mission from day one, and today we are announcing a redoubling of our efforts to work with educators to unlock the power of feedback. 

Today – at the ISTE conference in New Orleans – we are thrilled to launch ‘Mote Loops’, a new product designed in collaboration with educators to address some of the challenges of feedback. Part of the Mote Chrome Extension, Loops is also integrated seamlessly with Google Classroom’s feedback workflow.

Why does feedback need fixing?

Feedback’s potential to improve student attainment, alongside other benefits, is widely supported by research. 

Given this proven potential, we have been surprised that more schools do not have explicit feedback policies, and saddened to hear of the challenges that many educators have experienced when trying to develop their own feedback practices.

So we embarked on a program of research to understand the challenges of feedback more fully. After dozens of interviews and hundreds of survey responses, three big challenges really stood out:

  1. Student engagement. Many educators are disappointed with students’ engagement with their feedback, and this impacts educators’ motivation to invest time in providing feedback.
  2. Impact measurement. Educators often don’t know whether their feedback is being actioned by students, or otherwise making a difference.
  3. Time. Giving high quality feedback takes a lot of time, often outside of regular teaching hours.

The scale of these challenges struck us as really significant, and we felt an irresistible urge to focus our energies on working with educators to address the problems.

Are grades part of the problem?

One theme that we have also heard repeatedly is the tension between grading – itself arguably a form of feedback – and descriptive feedback of the kind that the research predicts will make the greatest difference for learners. Our conversations with educators consistently echo research findings like the following:

“…if a paper is returned with both a grade and a comment, many students will pay attention to the grade and ignore the comment.

Brookhart, S. M. (2008) How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students.

Further research has introduced us to the wider movement of educators who are challenging the role that grading plays in K12 and Higher Education.   This movement is sometimes known as ‘ungrading’, or ‘going gradeless’, and its thought leaders include researchers like Alfie Kohn, who have argued that grades are something that should be actively minimized, if not eliminated, where possible. 

We have found the evidence and arguments against grading to be persuasive, based on the experience of the former educators on the Mote team, and also based on our experience working with educators and discussing feedback. We also understand that grading is a deeply-ingrained element of most educational systems.

Though grades were initially meant to serve various pedagogical purposes, more recent reforms have focused on “grades as useful tools in an organizational rather than pedagogical enterprise—tools that would facilitate movement, communication, and coordination.

Scheider and Hutt, 2013. Making the grade: a history of the A–F marking scheme

We are fascinated by the research on grading, and are inspired to work alongside educators to explore ways to support the ‘Ungrading’ movement.

How Mote is Evolving

When we thought deeply about the challenges of feedback, and of helping schools to move ‘Beyond Grading’, we realized that we could have more impact if we didn’t start with the assumption that voice notes were the answer.  Instead, we thought: what would it look like to focus on building a better solution for feedback?

Today we are excited to announce Mote’s commitment to a multi-year ambition to work alongside educators to support the process of helping schools and colleges to push ‘Beyond Grading’.  While the challenge feels familiar, it does mark a new chapter for our young company. We don’t know exactly where this path will take us, but we know that it will be shaped by our community and by the lessons we learn together.

Our first step

We’re proud to announce the beta launch of our new product, ‘Loops’. Loops is like an exit ticket for feedback, whether it be written or verbal.  In designing Loops, we had three main goals: 

  1. Increase student engagement with feedback.
  2. Nudge students to take action based on feedback received. 
  3. Inform educators about students’ engagement with feedback.

Loops will soon be available as part of the Mote Chrome extension – we will be launching it for all users on July 4.

Want to learn more? Check out this video!

Accessibility Creativity Education Elementary Middle School

Reading with Mote

Reading to my 2 year old daughter is one of my favourite things to do. In this short post, find out how I used Mote to create this awesome experience for my daughter!

With the busyness of life, I am often preoccupied with preparing dinner or one of the many other life chores, when I find my daughter turning the pages of her books, pretending to read on her own. She loves looking at the pictures and calling out the characters, animals, and colours she sees. 

I thought there needed to be a way that my daughter could continue to read by herself and listen to the story being read to her. With the use of Mote, I came up with an idea to record myself reading her favourite stories. I first recorded two of her favourite books;

  • I Went Walking by Sue Williams
  • Noni the Pony by Allison Lester 

Both these picture story books are quite short, so Mote works perfectly as I could record each story within the one Mote recording. To highlight the turn of the page, I rang some bells to let my daughter know when to turn the page while reading along.

The recordings were then downloaded as a QR Code, printed and added to the front of each book. Now when my daughter wants to read on her own, we are able to scan the QR Code using an old phone and she can listen to the Mote recording and read along on her own. 

As this was a great success I will continue to use Mote to record some of her other favourite picture story books. 

This idea can be used in the classroom to engage your students. They can listen to the Mote recording of their teacher to reinforce text and articulation within the story. You could also have students recording themselves and have them share their favourite stories with their classmates. 

With longer stories, I suggest making several Mote recordings and having several QR Codes printed throughout the pages of the book as required. 

There are so many ways you can use this idea in the classroom. 

Creativity Education Elementary

A Day in the Life of a Mote using Teacher!

My name is Eleni Kyritsis, I am the Deputy Head of Junior School in Melbourne Australia, and I also work part time for Mote as the Community Leader. I love my job and everything that comes with it. Mote is a tool that I discovered while on maternity leave in 2020. When returning to work during the pandemic I loved how I was able to connect with students and provide meaningful feedback on their learning whilst they were learning from home. Now fast forward to 2022 I still love using Mote daily in the classroom. In this post I am going to share a day in the life of how I use Mote to support me as a working mum finding that work-life balance.  

7:30am – Arrive at work

My role as Deputy Head is to inform teachers of any absentees and changes to the daily schedule. Through our school’s Learning Management System (LMS) I can verbally record the daily update using Mote’s MotePad and share and embed this directly into our Staff LMS page. 

8:30am – Classes begin

Each morning I walk the corridors to say good morning to the students as they arrive. I have many conversations with students as well as teachers and some parents, so I find the Mote app on my phone so valuable as I can quickly record any reminders and to do items as Mote’s which I follow up with at a later time.

11:30am – Library Book recommendations

Students love reading at our school and love to share what books they have read with each other. In the library we have a loans computer for students to browse the books they can borrow. When students have read a book they can leave a recommendation by recording a Mote in the Library account. Once a week I go and share these using the QR code button and create a Bookmark. With the help of our Library technician we print these and place these inside the book cover for other students to explore and listen to the book recommendations from other students in our school. Student’s use an iPad from the Library to help scan and listen to Mote bookmark book recommendations. 

12:30pm – Emails

I was observing a student whilst on yard duty and needed to follow up with their teacher at the end of lunch break. When composing the email in Gmail, I simply hit the Mote button and record my voice message of my observations and then send. This allows me to work efficiently and also the teacher listening to the recording. Mote within Gmail is one of my favourite features.

2:00pm – Year 6 Design Class

In my Design class, students are beginning a new project where they are exploring Sustainable Housing. I researched a range of websites that I would like the students to explore about the topic and shared these in Google Classroom. Using the Mote extension in Chrome I can create Sticky Motes with instructions on each of the websites to support students with their own research on these pages. Within Google Classroom, students can also use the Mote chrome extension to record a verbal comment for me. 

3:30pm – Veggie Patch QR Motes 

Our Year 5 students have created Mote QR Cards (similar to our Library bookmark recommendations) that we have added to each Veggie Patch with students recording what the plant is and when we should have a harvest. At student pick up at the end of the day, our parent community love scanning and hearing the students explain what the veggie patches are and what we are growing. These have become a great discussion for parents and students. I had 

4pm – Administration tasks

In the afternoon I review and listen to the Motes I created throughout the day via the iOS app. I review these on my laptop and keep track of all conversations I had throughout the day or from meetings I attended. 

4:30pm – Hometime

I hope you have enjoyed reading and seeing how I use Mote daily to support my productivity both in the classroom and with administration tasks. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading how I use Mote throughout my day. Please share any tips or tricks with how you use Mote throughout your day.

Creativity Education Elementary High School Higher Education Middle School QR Codes Slides

5 end of year audio activities!

Audio Report Cards

Why – 10x end of year reports with voice!

What – audio report cards engage and inspire in ways that text alone cannot.

How – Make use of this simple Google Doc template.

Audio Reflections (end of semester)

Why – let your students leave you feedback!

What – listening to student voice is a great way to grow as an educator.

How – Make a copy of this Google Forms template

Audio Certificates

Why – use voice and bring certificates to life!

What – level up digital certificates by adding audio

How – Check out this Google Slides template, made by SlidesMania

Audio Affirmations/Praise Postcards

Why – praise received verbally is praise remembered!

What – add a QR code to a postcard that goes home

How – Try this Google Slides template, made in Canva

Audio into Google Sites

Why – A website with you voice? Perfection!

What – Use Mote to easily embed audio into your Google Sites

How – Follow the example in this short video.

Creativity Education Elementary High School Higher Education Middle School QR Codes

10+ Uses for Audio QR Codes!

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!

Inspirational Ideas

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:

  • Bulletin Boards
  • Accessible stickers for student work
  • Notes in hallways
  • Notes on door
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Bookmarks

Holy GuacaMOTEly!

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.

Education High School Languages Middle School Technology

Voice notes in emails!


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.
Education High School Higher Education Middle School Technology

Top 5: Digital Tools for Teacher and Student Wellbeing

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.

Creativity Education Forms High School Middle School

4 awesome ways to add audio to Google Forms!

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

Make questions accessible and more engaging for all

– 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

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.

– 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

Congrats! You’ve added audio options within a multiple choice question.

3. Audio feedback

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.

– Set your Google Form up as a quiz
– Click ‘add answer feedback’
– Leave a mote in both correct and incorrect feedback
– Done!

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!

Whether it’s saving time, accessibility, tone or language learning… there are so many ways why this is important and a game changer!

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.

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!

Education High School Middle School

5 ways to use Mote in the High School Classroom


Hypermotes are a new feature in Google Docs which allow you to create a clickable Hypermote within your document. 

Some ways you can use this feature in the secondary classroom include recording your voice on new words to help students with pronunciation or a definition. This supports all learners in your class by expanding student vocabulary. 


StickyMote allows teachers to leave voice instructions on any website. This is an amazing tool to use to introduce tasks for both in the classroom and home learning. While exploring the chosen website, students can listen to the embed teacher instructions multiple times whilst scrolling the page.

Google Forms Assessment/ Feedback:

Using Mote to design assessments or exit tickets in Google Forms allows for questions to be recorded by teachers and listened to by your students. In self grading Google Forms, teachers can also record a Mote to provide students with instant personalized feedback. 

Collaborative Brainstorming:

Collaborative discussions are a great way for students to learn about new topics in the classroom. But how do we capture and document the ideas shared? Using Mote in Google Slides, students can record their thoughts and ideas for others to hear. On the Mote Learning Hub, there are a range of ready to use templates, visit the ‘Class Discussion with Mote’ more information.

STEM Mode: 

STEM Mode allows you to record yourself saying mathematical equations that are then transcribed in the voice to text box. This allows teachers to efficiently provide students with both voice and text options to equations. The STEM mode needs to be activated your settings

Education Technology

Best Microphones for Teachers!

We asked the current crop of awesome Mote Ambassadors for their recommendations of the best microphones for educators. With a range of budget and goals in mind, I’d suggest that you read on…

Aokeo AK-60

recommended by Daren White – follow now!

I use this one for the myedtechbuddies podcast – relatively inexpensive but very good quality sound. Added bonus of boom arm etc included!

Find out more.

Blue Snowball

recommended by Niall Ridgway – follow now!

I’ve been using a Blue Snowball for about 10 years and I love it for use in class and on the Chromebook/windows device at home 😊

Find out more.

Blue Yeti

recommended by Karina Q – follow now!

I love my Blue Yeti because of its ease of installation and great sound quality. It’s great for webinars, voice recordings, and professional audio.

Find out more.

Boya BY-M1

recommended by Sethi De Clercq – follow now!

Excellent beginners lavelier. Great sounds and cheap enough to buy class sets. We got these for many of our teachers to upgrade their audio during online learning. It’s amazing!

Find out more.

FiFine T669

recommended by Abid Patel – follow now!

Just plug and play and you’re good to go! Comes with a boom arm or a mini tripod, as well as a pop filter. Great easy way into getting yourself professional sounding audio!

Find out more.

Maono Podcasting Kit

recommended by Wenndy Pray – follow now!

I love the Maono Podcasting Kit. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up, and comes with headphones already.

Find out more.

Rode SmartLav

recommended by Sethi De Clercq – follow now!

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.

Find out more.

Shure MV7X

recommended by Fonz Mendoza – follow now!

This mic is a two in one work of art. You can easily plug it in via USB or you have an XLR connection for a board. Great Shure Sound at a great price! It is a game changer.

Find out more.

Shure MV88+

recommended by Sue Tranchina – follow now!

I use the Shure MV88+ for video calls and content creation for both live streams and recording on my iPhone. (Love that I can swap!) It’s a pricier option but has been worth its weight in gold for me!

Find out more.