Frequently Asked Questions
Along is a first-of-its-kind teacher-student connection builder. Within the challenging realities of today’s classrooms, there are many barriers to connection. Using simple, yet powerful, reflection questions, Along solves the connection gap between teachers and students by fostering authentic conversations.
Along lets students share quick reflections one-on-one with their teacher so they can open up about who they are and what’s really on their mind—without peer pressure. Educators get instant access to research-informed questions and ready-to-use resources, and students choose how they want to reflect—either over text, audio, or video messaging—on their own time and in their own way.
Along was designed for upper elementary, middle, and high school grade levels.
It can be used only by educators with registered school domain email addresses.
Those educators are required to let their school leaders and their students’ guardians know about their use of Along for the classroom. We provide materials to support educators in sharing this information.
Along provides a dedicated space for educators and students to connect and reflect one-on-one. Within Along, educators have instant access to practical tips and ready-to-send resources. Educators browse a library of research-informed questions designed to help students open up about important topics like setting goals, staying motivated, and exploring their interests. Once an educator selects a reflection question from the Library, or writes their own, they can choose a time that works best for their schedule—even before or after class—to record and share their reflection with students.
Students are notified via email once they receive a question from their teacher. They then have the choice to respond on their own time and in their own way—over a quick video, audio, or text message, which goes only to their teacher. Educators can stay on top of reflections using their student dashboard to view, organize, and easily follow up on the responses students share. Through regular reflection, educators are able to show that they care, and over time, build trusted connections with their students.
Getting started on Along takes just a few quick steps. You can sign up by creating a free account here. Along is currently available on desktop and mobile web. For the best experience, we encourage educators to use the desktop version on Chrome. Students can access Along using desktop or mobile web.
Individuals wishing to explore Along may register with an individual G Suite or Office 365 account, but will need to switch to their school email before using the product with students.
In order to use Along with students, educators must use an email domain tied to a K-12 school in the United States, notify their school leader, and notify parents.
Individual educators from your school or district can create an account and get started immediately. If you’d like to bring Along to multiple educators in your school or district and plan a rollout, please visit our Schools page and provide your contact information. Our team will be in touch to help you plan your rollout.
While educators can share reflection questions with individuals or groups of students, student responses go only to the educator.
Along maintains a record of educator and student communications, which cannot be modified or deleted until students or educators delete their accounts, or the accounts are otherwise deleted per Along’s retention policies. This ensures that everyone can connect to the tool safely and confidently.
Family members who are interested in their child’s experience in Along can either ask their children to show them their communication activity or reach out to educators or school leaders to request access to communication activity. Users can also make the request from within Along itself. School leaders can contact our Support Team: email@example.com. If a district leader needs access to this record, they can work with the school leader to request access.
To troubleshoot an issue you are having, answer your questions, or for investigation purposes, our team may access your videos and messages. Along promotes a culture of privacy. We restrict access to data on a need to know basis. Our team members who require access to data go through a background check and receive training on Along’s data access policies and best practices.
If users have any concerns with content they see in Along (for example, if certain messages violate our Code of Conduct or User Agreement or otherwise contain concerning content), educators or students can take the following actions:
- Access their communication activity on Along to share directly with their school leader.
- Flag the content directly within Along. A member of our Support Team will review the reported content and may take additional measures like warning or suspending the author if the content is in violation of our Code of Conduct.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also believe that keeping the community safe in Along is a shared responsibility. Here are some of the ways we make this easier for educators, students, and guardians:
- Educators and students can easily report concerning content or interactions, or access their communication log so they can share it with a guardian or school leader.
- We work with verified school leaders—and, as appropriate and mandated by law, local authorities such as child protective services—to address any safety concerns.
We’re committed to making Along a safe and trusted environment for educators and students. As always, if you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Support Team: email@example.com.
Your safety is important to us. We design our practices with privacy and security in mind, and take steps to safeguard student data, including:
- We do not and will never advertise to students, sell student data, or share it with third-party marketers.
- We also comply with FERPA and COPPA, as well as the Student Privacy Pledge, which commits us to use student personal information only for educational and school purposes.
Access to Along occurs via encrypted connections, which encrypt all data before it leaves Along’s servers and protects that data as it transits over the internet. We use HTTP Strict Transport Security to ensure that pages are loaded over HTTPS connections and our TLS configuration receives an A+ from Qualys SSL Labs. All personally identifiable information is encrypted at rest using modern encryption algorithms such as AES-256 or stronger. You can learn more about how Along keeps your information secure in our Security Whitepaper.
Educators and students can control their own data in Along.
- If students want to delete their account, they can contact their teacher or reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify the educator and school leader, and the account will be removed from Along upon verification of the student’s request.
- If educators want to delete their account, all associated student content will also be deleted. Their school leader and students on Along will be notified.
Along was designed to support teachers in building strong relationships with each student. We know from decades of research that having at least one supportive and caring adult relationship is one of the strongest predictors of resilience to adverse life experiences in a child’s life (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2015). Research also tells us that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with important student skills.
The questions and resources within the platform are inspired by partners like Search Institute, Character Lab, and many more, who were excited to work with us to bring their evidence- and research-based interventions into classroom practice.
Visit along.org/resources for more information.
One of the challenges in education is making strong, research-based practices easier for teachers to access and implement. The partnership between Gradient Learning and CZI aims to help more educators have access to the tools and supports they need to bring these practices to life for students.
Gradient Learning and CZI have a strong partnership that pairs the expertise of both organizations — including instructional design, engineering, learning science and student development — to help more teachers meet students’ individual needs and interests. For more information about our partnership, visit www.along.org/our-story/.
If you have a question about anything that isn’t covered here, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Support Team: email@example.com.