ESSER Funds for Learning Gains with Hello PLATO
In covering the purpose and distribution processes around ESSER Funds, the Office of Elementary and Secondary School Education offered the following directive:
As districts review their budgets and their planned purchases for ESSER funds they will want to consider things that have the greatest potential impact on learning gains. You may wonder why we’re saying learning “gains” instead of learning losses. Unsurprisingly, language does matter! It turns out that when we say learning losses we imply something negative, and that can have a negative impact on students already seen as being “behind.” When we focus instead on learning gains, we’re focused on what the tools can do for us. Losses in terms of lost time have definitely happened. But losses in terms of the ability to learn new things has not.
We believe that Hello PLATO can play one of the most important roles for school districts because it reaches kids with no WIFI at home AND because students LOVE learning through messaging.
Hello PLATO can not only catch kids up on what they missed in 2020 but make sure that the 1/3 of American kids who have always been behind because they have no access to online learning at home now have access.
At Hello PLATO we like to use the hashtag #tech4equity. What do we mean by that? We mean that the purpose of technology and innovation is to make people’s lives better at a lower cost. In the case of Hello PLATO, equitable access to online learning at home is critically important to closing the Homework Gap. Students that progress through school with a long-term homework gap have been shown by research to reach lower academic success and suffer lifelong negative impacts to their income that not only affect that students’ life forever but the entire community, given that costs are higher and revenue lower when people are underemployed.
Let’s put an end to that right now by providing something that students LOVE and that 99.99% of your students can access at home!
Frequently Asked Questions about Hello PLATO
Do students have to have a smartphone to use Hello PLATO?
They have to have access to a smartphone or phone number to use Hello PLATO. This doesn’t mean an iPhone, any Android phone will do as well. The student may borrow a parent’s phone or phone number if he/she doesn’t own one. The student may also “tether” to a parent’s phone when using a Chromebook and the web version of Whatsapp.
Are there recommended age groups for Hello PLATO?
Yes. Due to the need to read the text messages and respond to them, literacy could be an obstacle for younger children. They are also less likely to have their own phone or be provided one by parents. For this reason, we’re targeting 6th – 12th grade with our first version of Hello PLATO.
Get Started with Hello PLATO
Reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more today. There is also a simple version for teachers available free now.