Access all learners with voice!

MAY 13, 2022, by RACHELLE DENÉ POTH

Inclusivity and accessibility are crucial to amplify student learning potential and foster the development of essential social & emotional learning skills. As teachers, our choices must enable us to provide ongoing, personalized instructional support that meets every student’s needs. Mote’s unique voice toolkit offers exactly that, and in this post, I’ll share six ways that you can use Mote to address SEL and Accessibility challenges in your school or classroom, whatever your grade or subject focus. 

What is Mote?

Mote offers a Chrome Extension and iOS app for creating and sharing voice notes, in particular through integrations with Google Workspace and other popular educational tools. Since launching in early 2020, the team at Mote has continued to develop amazing features in response to the needs of the educational community. 

Mote has something for every learner

Mote offers exactly what educators need to empower all students to access learning. We have the power of voice to provide feedback to our students, explain concepts and provide instructions, build relationships, and inform our school community about events happening in our classrooms and schools. And these are just a few of the many ways that teachers are using Mote with their learners.

With its fast voice-to-text feature, Mote lets students choose to listen to or read their ‘motes’ from teachers. They can also translate the text and select the playback speed. These capabilities offer tremendous potential for individualized instruction for students.

Learning from one another

Mote offers choices for amplifying learning and promoting accessibility and does so while also offering a supportive learning community to educators. The Mote Community is dedicated to collaborative learning and continuing to build on how Mote can be used to best meet the needs and interests of all students. As a Mote community member myself, I have experienced how it helps educators to continue to grow, share our ideas and learn new ways to bring Mote into our classrooms to amplify student learning and provide what each student needs to be successful.

Rachelle, Stacey, Alex (top), Lois and Jon (bottom row)

In the roundtable discussion that I led on May 4th, I heard an incredible number of ideas shared by Jon Neale (Mote’s VP of Education), Mote, and Mote Ambassadors Lois Alston, Alex Isaacs, and Stacey Roshan. 

The group shared how Mote promotes accessibility and much more for educators, students, and families. We explored ideas for elementary, middle, and high school and innovative ways to use Mote in our classrooms. If you are unsure where to start, I would recommend focusing first on accessibility.

Accessibility and SEL with Mote

Here are my top 6 favorite ways to use Mote to tackle accessibility and SEL:

  • Build student confidence in learning by leaving personalized messages
  • Overcome language barriers through easy translation in Real-Time: When I provide meaningful feedback to students and do check-ins with families, I can use Mote to share this as a transcribed voice note, and the student or parent can translate this into their native language.
  • Provide authentic, timely, and meaningful feedback. With Mote, I can  support and connect with all students regardless of where learning is happening
  • Foster student-agency as they can reply with a voice note, or just an emoji, to the feedback received
  • Facilitate peer collaboration through Mote to build relationships and positive classroom culture
  • Foster SEL  – Check out the SEL classroom

Making a difference with Mote

Here are just a few of the wonderful examples shared by Alex, Lois, and Stacey.

  1. Create visual art peer critiques! Check out Stacey’s awesome Art example
  1. Teach lessons with instruction provided through Mote notes. Mote notes help students to learn a new concept or practice a skill with support provided.  Check out Alex’s math lessons! Mote Audio in Google Slides
  1. Design a class or school newsletter: Sharing information with the power of voice engages the school community even more and helps to foster connections between teachers and students. Check out Lois’ The EdTech Wave

  1. Send Mote-ivational messages to families, colleagues and students. What a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day and spread positivity! Check out the Mote + Canva SEL Room!
  1. Create Personalized Certificates: Check out Alex’s 3 Stars QR Mote Messages! Receiving a certificate with a Mote message which explains the award and offers encouragement will be more meaningful and make a big difference for students!

6) Provide School-Wide Bulletin Boards: Everyone will be curious about the board and it will spark more curiosity for learning.  Look at these themed bulletin boards and positive QR Mote messages from Lois!

App Smashing with Mote!

What’s better than app smashing, especially when it involves Mote! Check out the Canva Virtual Classrooms with Mote Player Integration.

And now, learn about the latest integration with Wakelet! You can now embed Mote voice notes into Wakelet collections which will help you to save time, boost engagement, and connect with your community!

Some final tips from our amazing panelists Alex, Lois, and Stacey.

Is there a learning curve when getting started with Mote?

Stacey says: You can get up & running as soon as you add the Chrome extension! One truly beautiful thing about Mote is how easy it is to get going & how intuitive it is. Though it’s not required for students to install the Chrome extension to listen to your voice notes, it’s optimized when everyone has Mote installed.

The #moteminutes playlist on YouTube is a wonderful place to learn how to get going: Check out Stacey’s Walkthrough to get started! Leaving Voice Feedback (with Automatic Transcription!) in Google Docs using Mote

According to Alex,” I was quickly able to hit the ground running after installing the Mote Chrome extension last spring. I had no issues inserting audio motes into my Google Slides to add detailed explanations and warm greetings for my diverse learners. Since then, Mote has become even easier to use, and new integrations with platforms like Wakelet and Twitter have offered my students more variety and accessibility options.”

How does Mote enhance accessibility when facilitating learning in hybrid or fully virtual environments?

Alex says that Mote enhances accessibility in these virtual environments by offering translated audio messages to be sent with little effort. Students can then use these motes to help them approach math problems, understand multi-step directions, and receive updates about class news.

What are your ideas for an educator just getting started?

Stacey: Install Mote and use it to create a voice comment on your next Google Doc or Google Slides

Lois: Start implementing voice Motes in the platforms that you are currently using like Google Workspace for Education. For example, leaving a voice Mote in Google Classroom to welcome students each day would be an easy way to start and a great way to connect with students.

Alex: My best advice for someone starting with Mote would be to send a positive Mote message to a star student and their parent/guardian. The personal touch of a voice message compared to a simple email has made a big difference in my ability to form a stronger bond with my students and their families.

Boosting student engagement and SEL at the end of the year. What ideas can you share?

Lois: SEL + Mote classroom: This room is fully integrated with the Mote player in Canva. Alex and I hope that other educators will use this template to create their own digital SEL space in their classes. We also hope that personalized Mote messages will better assist students in emotional times of need.

What is your favorite way to use Mote?

Alex: My favorite way to use Mote is implementing QR audio motes. Not only have I used this function to create welcome messages outside of my classroom, but it has also allowed me to create more personalized certificates to celebrate student achievement.

Lois: My favorite way to use Mote is to enhance school-wide bulletin boards. Helping teachers create QR Motes has allowed for a more interactive experience for teachers and students when they scan them.

Why Mote makes a difference

Mote helps students to build essential SEL skills, while more meaningfully engaging in the lesson which leads to better content retention. Alex says “Mote has made a difference in my practice by enhancing my feedback and making it more authentic, meaningful, and personal. I am very thankful for how Mote has allowed me to make stronger connections with my students while providing them with memorable moments in my math class. The platform has also saved me time and helped me offer easy-to-understand messages to my diverse groups.”

For Lois, Mote has made a big difference in her practice as a Tech Coach. Using Mote audio messages for monthly EdTech Wave newsletters has allowed her to further explain what is shared on each slide. In addition, using Mote in Wakelet has allowed me to use my voice to leave a message in my collections. I love how Mote is now integrated in Wakelet where voice transcripts allow for more accessibility.

Designing a lesson and creating resources that support students whenever they need it is critical. Mote enables us to do just that.

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