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Our commitment during the coronavirus outbreak: the 100mentors app to 1,000 classrooms for free.

During the Coronavirus outbreak worldwide, we are pledging the 100mentors app to 1,000 classrooms for free. In this article, I’m shedding some light on 1) how this commitment connects to why we started 100mentors and more about our pledge, 2) how we suggest educators select their EdTech tools to align with their needs, and 3) some of the tools we feel work best alongside our own mobile app.

If you are an educator/parent/school, join the mission here: http://meet.100mentors.com/our-commitment-in-crisis

Table of Contents:

  1. WHY: The 100mentors commitment & our 1k classes response to the outbreak.
  2. HOW: 5+3 utilities to look for before you use 100mentors and other EdTech.
  3. WHAT: 10 tools (& how) to integrate & use (them) along with 100mentors: 

a. Lecture-based instruction (teachers convey knowledge), synchronous or asynchronous 

b. Inquiry-based instruction (students construct knowledge)


  • Why we created 100mentors

We started 100mentors 5 years ago to empower the world’s youth to become more conscious about their academic & career decisions. Since then, our primary focus has been serving young people from socioeconomically & geographically marginalized populations, and any learners who would not be able to meet their role models otherwise.

Through inquiry-based learning, the use of our mobile app empowers them to virtually and asynchronously tap into our network of mentors. Partnering with organizations like the Tipping Point in Education and Emergination Africa, as well as foundations like the Prince’s Trust International, and companies like Ernst & Young, we are able to “unlock” thousands of classrooms and communities of learners worldwide at no cost for the end-beneficiaries.

  • The Problem

During this outbreak the entire world becomes vulnerable and our responsibility as a company becomes clear: to make it easy and yet meaningful for humans to stay connected to the world. 

More countries are taking bold and important measures in a bid to slow the spread and impact on communities, now that we know containment is no longer an option. For schools, this has a marked impact: thirteen countries have closed schools nationwide, while other countries have closed districts where there is a high risk for the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, according to the latest data shared by UNESCO, nearly 300 million kids aren’t in the classroom. If this crisis is prolonged, it could threaten the human right to education. 

All these classrooms have two options: either shut down completely or move online.

  • The 100mentors mission in response to the outbreak 

For the last couple of weeks, here at 100mentors we have been in constant touch with our stakeholders: classes, communities of learners and partners in regions affected worldwide. Now, by committing our technology, our expanded network of mentors from partner-companies & universities, and our agile customer service, we pledge to support impacted classrooms worldwide. In doing so, our mission expands to: empowering our classrooms and our university & company groups to simulate the class environment and quickly transition to a full digital learning environment, when 100% online is the new normal. 

This is why we are launching the 1,000 Classes Pledge,” along with a series of posts and material that can be useful to all educators, to address classes/learning groups, beyond our school partners. 

With our current customers relying on our platform even more so than usual, we’ve seen firsthand in the last few weeks how educational technology can respond to moments of crisis meaningfully. We want to extend the use of our platform and app to affected classrooms to help them get through it, alongside other edtech tools, for a fully-rounded experience

With an array of solutions and an influx of options for educators already overwhelmed with these changes to their lesson plans, here’s how and what we suggest to get started with online learning:


5+3 utilities to look for before you use 100mentors and other EdTech solutions

We focus on hands-on tools and approaches that have certain characteristics:

  1. Close-to-zero setup time, 
  2. Minimum learning curve,
  3. Easy to adjust to the learning rhythm of users,
  4. Minimum technical requirements (e.g. standard WiFi connection and/or a basic smartphone), 
  5. Zero financial burden to students and parents,

Besides the above list that applies to all the tools we recommend our users look for, at 100mentors, when we build a new feature, we focus on how the new user experience should feel:

  • Byte-sized
  • Aligned to the existing learning flow or curriculum
  • Authentic & natural for digital natives


Types of tools (& how) to integrate & use them alongside 100mentors: 

a. Lecture-based instruction (teachers convey knowledge), synchronous or asynchronous 

b. Inquiry-based instruction (students construct knowledge)

From a universe of tools we will start with just a short list of favorites, for the sole purpose of keeping it simple for those who are just now starting to build their online presence:

a. Lecture-based instruction 


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  • Collaboration tools: We suggest that you use Slack to empower your student groups to instantly communicate through written messages – we at 100mentors use this tool internally, and know firsthand how powerful it can be


  • There are several important tools for recording asynchronous videos: We will mention Zoom again, to continue with one seamless experience for educators. 

Note: To record a screencast using Zoom, you start a meeting with yourself as the only participant, and record the conference. You can’t record if you’re using the Zoom iOS app.

  • MOOCs (EdX, Coursera, Udemy), Khan Academy

Khan Academy is our favorite, because it includes almost any subject, at any knowledge level, in byte size portions. 

b. Inquiry-based instruction. 

From a vast variety of tools we are sharing a short list of engaging and interactive tools that our educators use alongside the lecture-based instruction solutions mentioned:

  • Kahoot!:for a limited time the game-based platform is granting free access to its premium version. You can create fun learning games for your students called Kahoots. Using these, classes can play live against each other or students can complete the quiz at their own pace. 
  • Social Emotional Learning can continue in a distance learning setting, too. Provide ways for students to share and process their emotions while away from school during this stressful time. Here are some ideas: using Google Forms, you can create mood check-ins for students to share their emotional state on a daily basis. Within the Form, students can request a conference with the teacher if they need extra support. 
  • As the world looks to close borders and field trips are replaced with quarantines, the 100mentors mobile app is opening doors for your students to 5,000 mentors from the leading universities and companies worldwide. Those mentors are professional role models, scientists and executives from 40 countries, who interact in your language and offer personalised answers to your students’ wonderment questions.

While this list is a) far from exhaustive, and b) based on the personal or institutional selections of our partner-educators who are taking our 5+3 feature suggestions, it is a good starting point for those of you new to the online learning community. Also check best practices in education that we have collected in our blog. Feel free to download our e-book on the top and start with ATL Part 1 where, like dozens of thought leaders in education, you can leave your comments below to join our global dialogue.

If you want to learn how you can integrate 100mentors into your own lesson plan alongside EdTech tools like these, please either leave your thoughts on a comment here or send us an email at education@100mentors.com. Let’s talk about your class needs and build a plan so that you confidently transition to distance learning at no cost.  

Πηγή: linkedin – Yiorgos Nikoletakis