New Canaan Public Schools (NCPS) is located one hour outside of New York City, in southwest Connecticut. Nationally, NCPS is known for its academic excellence and commitment to achievement. In 2022, Niche ranked NCPS as the #1 district in Connecticut and #26 nationally. NCPS was also named the #1 best place to teach and as having the #1 best teachers in Connecticut.
At the start of the ‘20-’21 school year, NCPS was in search of a tool that would easily allow staff to add their voice to assignments. Most tools, Matt Salvestrini - Director of Digital Learning - found, were either overly complex or too burdensome. Mote, on the other hand, was simple yet impactful. With a shallow learning curve, Salvestrini saw its potential for impact across the district.
As NCPS trialed Mote in Spring 2021, the product began gaining strong momentum with the World Languages department. For the 2021-2022 school year, the district decided to use Mote as a formative assessment tool in middle school language classes.
Over the course of the academic year, NCPS students and staff created in excess of 40,000 voice notes using Mote. This output was largely driven by formative assessments in Google Forms, where staff would record listening exercises and students would use Mote to record answers in the language that they were studying.
As one staff member notes, this practice has:
enabled me to elevate the caliber of my assignments for the Spanish classroom to improve students’ speaking and listening proficiencies….Mote has proven to be a solution to the problem of how to consistently have students speak and to be able to reflect on their speaking and growth in the process, since they can hear their old audio.
Mote has allowed NCPS World Languages teachers to easily create and review formative assessments of students’ verbal fluency and listening comprehension on a regular basis, reducing the reliance on written assessments or quarterly verbal assessments. By enabling teachers to habitually evaluate student proficiency, Mote empowers teachers to more easily intervene, scaffold, and praise their learners for their work.
For teachers and students alike, this new approach has provided a major boost to learning. As another staff member shares, “students immediately love it” because of Mote’s simplicity and versatility as a tool. With Mote, learning takes on a new audio dimension which allows for robust and authentic practice across a range of contexts and activities.
For a district that prides itself on academic excellence, Mote has helped NCPS continue to push its standards for learning. Through a simple and easy integration into Google Forms, NCPS has added a new dimension to its World Language courses. Students can now practice listening to languages, and get feedback on their pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, and more readily achieve that key goal of World Language courses: fluency.