Featured From the team Jun 21

When educators speak, we listen: the evolution of Along

At Along, our goal is to support teachers to positively impact the lives of young people. When we launched our teacher-student connection builder, our focus was to help teachers reach their students and create meaningful relationships.  We’re excited to say that over this summer, our team will be hard at work refining Along and launching more features to help educators. While Along remains centered on teacher-student connections, we’re extending our capabilities to capturing student voice and providing teachers with the insights that help incorporate student input into classroom instruction.

Over the course of this past academic year, we’ve seen schools leverage Along to build connections and trust between teachers and students, as demonstrated in a recent case study with Rochester Public Schools. From this study, 81% of teachers said that Along helped them be more open with their students, and 83% of students said that Along helped their teacher get to know them.

Although these results are incredibly necessary for student success, we want to build on that value to make a bigger impact on outcomes — like student engagement and motivation in the classroom — to accelerate learning. After spending time with educators and school leaders, and examining leading academic research, we heard consistently that teachers need a way to get to know their students and to systematically use the inputs of their students to better inform their instruction. 

Educators want to create engaged classrooms

One school leader at the middle school level shared with us, “In 6th grade, it takes us nine weeks at least to really get to know the students. Then, we’re trying to modify our instructional design based on what we know about the majority of the kids. To be able to expedite that process could be key in designing experiences that are reflecting the co-agency that you want with the learner.”

Research tells us that building upon teacher-student connections to listen to and then act on inputs from students supports these positive outcomes in the classroom. But the challenge is, how can educators do all of these things efficiently? 

As a natural progression of building Along’s value, we will be providing a way for teachers to both connect and build trust with their students and build on their interactions to drive engagement and improve instruction. This expanded educator solution will remain free and always easy to use.

Expanding Along is a continual process

When that same school leader imagined what Along could be too, they said, “With a tool like this, [we] can integrate student voice in a way that can inform instruction expeditiously.”

And —this is just the start. We’ll spend the fall learning even more from our educators and partners to make ongoing refinements to Along. 

We hope you’re as thrilled as we are to learn about the evolving Along! We will be hosting several webinars this summer to keep you informed, and will be sharing the dates and times soon. Stay tuned as we share more about what’s coming.  


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