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Languages Success Stories

Increasing language learning opportunities for all students

Tri-County Regional Centre for Education & Mote

Introduction

Tri-County Regional Centre for Education is a public region district located in the Tri-counties – Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne – Nova Scotia. TCRCE has approximately 6,000 students spread across 22 different schools. One of TCRCE’s primary goals is to ensure an accessible and equitable learning environment for all of their students. As their mission statement reads, “We believe that students’ well-being will be enhanced and their academic achievement will improve when educators grow and improve in meeting the individual needs of learners.”

Problem

Vera Ryan and Tracey Pothier, two of the region’s French Language Program educators, are always in search of new ways to help support students in their Core French and French Immersion programs. Vera first became aware of Mote in a graduate school class and came away impressed with its simplicity. As she explains, sometimes with other tech tools, there is a steep learning curve that makes implementation difficult, especially for students. With Mote on the other hand, the tool was easy – “the button is just right there.”

Beyond the simplicity of the tool, Mote also solved a real problem for the region. Pedagogically, Core French and French Immersion staff want students to speak French as much as possible. Yet, the way Core French courses are structured, students have core French every other day for just an hour. Due to these time constraints, it was a challenge to give students as much opportunity to speak as the staff would have liked. This is where Mote stepped in.

Solution

With Mote, staff suddenly had an easy way to increase student opportunities for speaking. Using Mote for Forms and Slides, for example, staff had students engage in higher-level exercises where they needed to both ask and answer questions in French. Vera notes that this audio element adds a new dimension to learning. Assessments and assignments no longer need to be written; instead, teachers now have an easy way to evaluate their students’ pronunciation, grammar, and fluency.

Beyond adding a new dimension to assessments and assignments, Mote also opened opportunities for Flipped Learning and scaffolding. Using Mote for Slides, staff created introductions and speaking models for students to study at home. Student engagement with these materials prepared them for class the next day, where they would then further develop their French speaking skills. Moreover, with Mote for Slides, the Core French teachers were able to make audio anchors that students could access for easy reference. 

This audio-focused instruction has been taken up strongly by both staff and students. In fact, since TCRCE began its Mote subscription, the region has created, on average, over two thousand motes a month.

Conclusion

For TCRCE, Mote has been an easy and exciting way to bolster French Second Language learning. With the product, students have had significantly more opportunities to speak and listen to authentic French communication. And for staff, Mote has allowed them to more easily differentiate and scaffold language learning. In this way, Mote helps the region achieve one of its key goals – helping meet the educational needs of all learners.

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Success Stories

Simple, Intuitive and Easy to Get Started

Mote has become a staple for teachers across Irvington Union Free School District

Introduction

Irvington Union Free School District is a public school district an hour north of New York City. The district prides itself on its high bar and commitment to academic achievement. Three of the four schools in the district have been recognized as National Schools of Excellence. What distinguishes IUFSD is its dedication to challenge and inspire students to pursue their passions in their futures. As a future-facing district, technology is a key component of the district’s goals. 

Problem

As Jay Strumwasser, Director of Technology, shares, the district had initially used a different tool to allow them to add audio to digital assignments. However, because the tool was outdated and regulations changed at the state level regarding privacy, Jay found Mote as a possible alternative tool. Staff were excited to use the tool, and found new ways to use it, particularly because of its simplicity. Jay notes, what separates Mote from other instructional technology  is that “it’s not demanding in any way. It makes things easier….[with Mote] I can walk into a teacher’s room and say “can I show you something that makes your job easier?”” and because it’s so simple, it quickly takes hold among staff and students.

Solution

This past year, IUFSD has seen Mote adopted across a variety of contexts, including music classes, world language assessments, and scaffolds for students with learning differences. Staff at IUFSD create motes for a diverse range of reasons across a diverse range of contexts, with usage broadly distributed across many of Mote’s integrations, including Google Slides, Forms, Classroom, and Docs.

When asked about what has led IUFSD to use Mote in this way, Jay returns back to the initial reason that the tool spread across the district: because of its ease of use and capacity for impact. As Jay shares, in contrast to other technology which may have a steep learning curve, with Mote, teachers and students can add their voice “literally at the click of a button.” This power combined with the simplicity of the voice notes delivery sets Mote apart. Through the product, teachers not only save themselves time, but by adding their voice to assignments and feedback, they also have the power to extend themselves into digital learning. 

Conclusion

For IUFSD, Mote has been a powerful supplement to instruction and feedback. With Mote, staff have been able to bring joy and personalization to their instruction, save time giving directions and feedback; and helped scaffold learning for students with differences. In this way, Mote has served  IUFSD as a tool that can support every teacher and student, whatever their learning needs.

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Success Stories

Four languages, one voice

Bialik Hebrew Day School uses Mote in Google Slides to bolster language learning

Introduction

Bialik Hebrew Day School is a private day school in Toronto, Canada. Bialik serves grades K-8 and aims to provide students with an exemplary education that embraces inclusivity, social justice, and equality. As a 1:1 and Google Classroom School, Bialik is also dedicated to ensuring strong digital literacy and achievement.

Problem

Students at Bialik receive instruction in four different languages: their native English, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish (Bialik is one of the few schools in Toronto that teaches Yiddish language). Given the importance of language learning at the school, Bialik required a way to easily facilitate language practice and feedback. 

Solution

In 2021, staff were introduced to Mote as a way to supplement their language classes and its use took off. In fact, since the start of the school year, Bialik has created tens of thousands of mote recordings – nearly all of them in Language Arts.

At Bialik, teachers have found Mote for Slides particularly effective for practicing pronunciation and grammar. Using Mote for Slides, teachers have created templates in which students could both hear their teachers pronounce words in their non-native language, and then submit recordings of key vocabulary.

For example, with this template, Sarit Fuchs created an assignment for their Hebrew class in which students are given a written passage and must read it aloud while recording a mote. With this recording, Fuchs was then easily able to assess their students strengths and areas of growth, while also allowing for fun and engaging activities like singing traditional Hebrew songs.

Beyond students recording their voices, Hagit Dekel also notes the power of oral feedback on students’ work. Dekel notes:

“By using Mote to provide feedback in the language of instruction, I use the language of instruction in an authentic way. Students are encouraged to listen and apply the feedback to their work. This requires them to use their listening comprehension skills, as well as their critical thinking, since the feedback is simply explaining what the mistake is, without providing the correct answer. Thus, students are required to make a concerted effort to understand what they are hearing in the language of instruction, process the feedback, and derive the expected correction on their own.”

With Mote, then, language learning and instruction has become faster, friendlier, and easier. The product has allowed for teachers to improve the speed and scalability of assessing student learning. Rather than need to assess students’ pronunciation and grammar 1:1, with Mote, teachers can now easily assess students asynchronously. Moreover, with the ability to record their voices, Bialik teachers can now also leave their instructions and feedback in the language that they are instructing, thus giving students a more authentic and immersive learning experience. And for students, there was joy in practicing their Hebrew and Yiddish pronunciations on their teachers’ warm and inviting templates.

Conclusion

For Bialik, Mote offered a way to create engaging and differentiated learning materials that could bring multiple languages and cultures to life through listening and speaking activities. With Mote templates and activities, Bialik was able to stretch language learning from a primarily written exercise to one that emphasized verbal confidence and fluency. In doing so, it managed to both make students more excited for their learning and the lessons even that much more effective.

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Success Stories

Success Stories

Around the world, educators in more than 30 countries have successfully adopted Mote across their schools and communities. Here’s just a few of their success stories.

Language Creativity with Mote
East Stroudsburg
Community Connection with Mote
Low-Stress Tech Adoption with Mote
Language Learning for All with Mote

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Accessibility Success Stories

Bridging the Digital Divide at ESASD

How East Stroudsburg Area School District harnesses Mote to build teacher-student connection

Introduction

East Stroudsburg Area School District (ESASD) is a public school district located in the Poconos of northeast Pennsylvania. Among the district’s goals is digital literacy for all of their 7,000 students. 

From grades 6-12, students are provided with a laptop device so that they may gain the skills necessary for their post-high school workplaces or their institutions of further study. As their digital mission statement reads, “we want each of our graduates to be successful…we know that in this century it is nearly impossible to do this without a digital device…” For ESASD, digital fluency is at the heart of their academic aims.

Problem

Within ESASD’s commitment to accessible digital technologies, the district has also made it a priority that students have authentic learning experiences. As Joe Martin and Diana Allison, two of ESASD’s Technology Integration Coaches note, one of the most effective ways that educators can provide these experiences is with personalized, friendly feedback. However, the challenge with implementing this feedback has been that “students don’t want to read written feedback because so much gets lost” including the tone, intention, and even connection between the deliverer and recipient of the feedback.

Upon the recommendation of Family Consumer Science Teacher Regina Brotherton, Joe and Diana discovered Mote and in their words, “went all in with it,” sharing the tool with all staff in their district. While Mote was initially used primarily for feedback, staff at ESASD found it to be a popular, flexible solution to a wide range of educational needs – supporting teachers not only in Language Arts, but also in math and the sciences. The key for ESASD was that, with Mote, as students completed assignments, they could actually hear their teachers, their personalities, and their humor, thereby giving a bond not easily accomplished by the written word alone.

Solution

With Mote, teachers have been able to easily and effectively incorporate voice into their digital learning. No longer limited to the potentially ambiguous written word, teachers across ESASD now use their voice to give feedback, instructions, and scaffolding. 

For ESASD staff, Mote has been a boon to both academics and relationships. As one staff member shared, she motes because “not only does Mote speed up the feedback process, but it also helps to give more detailed feedback that you might not normally be able to fit on a page. You can even explain how to fix an error in terms your individual student can understand.” This ability to deliver granular, nuanced feedback serves to both elevate the quality of feedback just as it makes the process more accessible to students. That is, with verbal feedback, staff may more easily communicate with their students which in turn leads to stronger connections – something that multiple ESASD staff described in a Mote survey.

Conclusion

For ESASD, Mote has been a bridge between the digital and human. By empowering authentic and human connection across the spectrum of Google Workspace applications used, teachers are able to not only build their students digital fluency but do so in such a way that it feels friendly, inviting, and accessible.