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April 13, 2021

A New to You (and Me!) Tech Tool

With so many easy-to-use tech tools, I was intrigued when the word “mote” caught my eye. “Mote, as in REmote?” I thought. “It must be technology for remote learning!” A handful of rabbit holes later and I now know that Mote can be used to easily and efficiently provide voice feedback to teams, teachers, and schools.  

Quotes on from teachers, tell us: 

Mote is a game-changer for grading and instructing students.” 

Students can hear my voice and feel connected.” 

“Saves so much time! I graded 85 students in 90 minutes.” 

“I am thrilled they [students] can hear the tone of my voice when I am giving feedback.” 

The comment “Mote is a game-changer,” is the ideal statement to capture the capacity of this new-to-me tech tool! As educators, we know time is what we are short on, so any technology that ensures efficiency and improves the amount and quality of feedback provided to students is one we know to pursue.  

A Google extension, Mote is an instrument that gives teachers the ability to speak into the comment field on any and all the Google things—slides, docs, presentations, spreadsheets, or in a Google Classroom. Mote boasts of being “fast, friendly, and free,” yet a paid account gives even more; auto-generated transcription, an online library for comment storage, access, reuse, and extra time for the comments themselves. The extension is simple to use, just click on the Mote icon that appears in the comment box and start talking! Mote will capture the connection, support and encouragement of your voice. Think of the possibilities!  

To get started, on the Mote website, select “Teams,” “Teachers,” or “Schools.” 

Select “Teachers” to see a drop-down menu that includes these choices: 

  • Elementary 
  • English & Humanities 
  • ESL & Modern Languages 
  • Science & Math 
  • Music & the Visual Arts 

Each option lists ways Mote can be used with students. Under “Elementary,” a kindergarten teacher explains her students don’t know how to read yet, so leaving a voice comment is a perfect way to share feedback and encouragement.  

Select “ESL & Modern Language,” to read how a teacher uses voice comments to differentiate.  

In the category “Music & the Visual Arts,” a teacher shares how much the students listen to, and are engaged by voice feedback, as seen in this comment:  

“…giving kids feedback about their digital portfolios, it was wonderful to see they had listened to my comments. I have written comments for years, only to find them left on the classroom floor or unopened in a digital format. This is amazing!”  

Voice feedback is an opportunity for students to listen to teacher tone which can mitigate misinterpretation. As students hear teacher comments, they discover how to navigate the nuance of language and increase their social-emotional skills. For students learning English, a tool like Mote is indeed a game-changer and for students or teachers with disabilities, Mote provides a means of communication that can decrease or eliminate the need to type on a keyboard.  

Tools like Mote humanize learning by creating personal connections, increasing clarity and honoring speech as a time-tested communication strategy that can improve learning. Try Mote to see how students respond to the connection, support, and encouragement your voice provides.


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