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How to wake up your class

Thompson Paine at Quizlet looks at new tech in the classroom

Posted by Hannah Oakman | November 09, 2016 | Technology

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener”.  This Robert Frost line may be my favourite description of the job of an educator. No, Frost did not mean he spends his days in the classroom throwing chalk at his students to keep them from drooling down their arm on their desks (at least I sincerely hope not). He was stating a truth that every great teacher knows intuitively — that to help students succeed, you must motivate and empower them to achieve their own success.

At Quizlet we believe that technology is best used in education when it is supporting and empowering people — that is, students and teachers themselves — to learn and inspire more effectively. To no one’s surprise, this is a challenge; getting students excited about, and confident in, their ability to succeed in school is hard. Today the job of the “awakener” feels more difficult than ever.

However, there are two foundational technology trends that are making it easier than ever for a company like Quizlet to reverse this trend for millions of students and teachers. The first is connectivity. Even if your school is slow to install a wifi network, you and your students are gaining better access than ever to the Internet, either at home, at the coffee shop, or via mobile devices. 

The second is inexpensive devices. The cost of computers and smartphones is dropping dramatically. The average price for an Android phone has been cut in half over the last 5 years, and Chromebooks, increasingly popular in schools, now start at around £150. 

Thanks to greater connectivity and cheaper devices, teachers are not limited to their traditional curriculum or pre-installed software in the school computer lab anymore. With a simple search or browse through the education category of an app store, wonderful education resources to supplement and enhance classroom teaching are easily found. 

Quizlet is taking advantage of this technology opportunity to help students with revision. We seek to create the most fun and engaging ways to practise or memorise anything you want to learn. Moreover, by empowering people to study anything they need to learn on Quizlet, students and teachers have contributed over 150 million content sets on Quizlet, covering virtually any topic you can think of, from GCSE Latin and Kyrgyz, to driving exams and anatomy tests.  

Most importantly, Quizlet gives students a pathway to success.  When a struggling student gets their first good mark, an accomplishment they previously thought simply impossible, it can be an epiphanic moment. By making learning fun and effective — and thus achievable — Quizlet can awaken the inner A student inside millions of people around the world.

This is the impact we are most proud of at Quizlet, and it is an impact we are providing at scale to over 20 million students and teachers each month around the world. 

Half a million of those people (and growing) are in the UK, and we are already seeing some interesting trends among them: 

●      Mobile is king - UK students are 27% more likely than US students to use Quizlet for revision on their phone. 

●      UK teachers aren’t afraid of technology - It’s not just the young tech-savvy teachers who are using Quizlet in their classrooms.  Half of roughly 40,000 UK teachers using Quizlet are over 40 years old.

●      Your education never ends - The UK has 32% more learners over 50 years old using Quizlet than in the US, proportionally. 

We are thrilled to see Quizlet empowering people to achieve more in school and in life in the UK, as we have in the US for the past decade, thanks to greater connectivity and device access.  We can’t wait to see how ever more students and teachers in the UK take advantage of these tools and push forward the age old pursuit of education and awakening. 


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