Sanako is a Finnish Educational Tech company helping schools and language teachers to improve language teaching efficiency and results.
Over the last six months, Sanako has been in constant dialogue with our resellers and global customers, helping them to adapt their language teaching provision to new fully remote or hybrid teaching models. In most cases, as in-school language labs are now hard to access, these conversations have focused on how schools can use cloud-based technologies as an alternative solution. Such solutions help to minimise disruption to learning and can support students now studying from home.
This blog post therefore specifically focuses on the benefits for schools, students and teachers of using cloud-based language teaching solutions, highlighting why Sanako Connect and our content platform (Reactored) have been adopted by teachers in many countries globally.
What does cloud-based technology actually mean?
According to Microsoft, cloud-based technology refers to “the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the internet.”
In simple terms, cloud-based technologies refer to those which can be freely accessed and used anywhere via internet access. Instead of installing a suite of teaching programmes onto multiple computers in a language lab or school network, students and teachers can simply log onto a website.
So why are cloud-based solutions invaluable for language teachers?
Tailored for hybrid learning
As education systems globally continue to respond to the pandemic, it’s obviously essential that language teaching software is tailored for, and easily supports, remote teaching and learning. Because cloud-based teaching solutions like Sanako Connect have been specifically designed for online lesson delivery, teachers can quickly set up classes and start teaching.
Furthermore as cloud tools are not tied to any particular technology or device, they can run on laptops, Chromebooks or tablets. Importantly they can also be used on equipment provided by the school or on students’ personal devices.
Ease and convenience
Building on the above, cloud-based solutions tend to be easier for teachers to use and save time in their busy schedules. Teachers, can, for example, use such solutions whenever they wish - there’s no need to waste time booking a slot in the language lab weeks in advance- teachers can simply email a link to their students to join the class. In addition, with Sanako Connect and Reactored, teachers can use the library of pre-built language learning materials and courses, or easily their own create exercises mixing a range of different task types. Reactored, in particular, also allows teachers to generate exercises automatically from a piece of text, dialogue or a word list, all of which can be converted into exams with just a few simple clicks.
Cloud solutions are also easier for students to work with as well. They can flexibly participate in lessons from anywhere with an internet connection and can conveniently access all of the lesson resources within a single application.
Schools can start small and scale when they need
As cloud-based solutions don’t require or rely on physical infrastructure such as servers or PCs, these solutions are highly scalable and can be quickly tailored to meet your changing requirements. Because there is nothing to install in the school’s computer classroom and because the customer only pays for the student licenses they need, institutions can choose to start small and then add more students to their account as other teachers adopt the solution. The subscription can be immediately updated. Equally, Sanako Connect and Reactored can be easily deployed for individual teachers or across a whole institution, a group of institutions or across a national education infrastructure.
Reduced cost and reduced need for IT infrastructure
Using cloud-based technologies also enables schools to reduce costs - an important consideration in a time of significant pressure on budgets. Sanako Connect can deliver all of the benefits of a language laboratory without the capital expense of buying hardware / software and of setting up and running everything onsite. Furthermore, there are no installation or maintenance fees and upgrades are delivered free of charge through your online account.
A student-first approach
As detailed in a recent blog post, cloud-based language solutions are particularly powerful in helping students to develop the core skills needed to achieve language fluency - listening, reading, speaking and writing.
In Sanako Connect, for example, teachers can lead classes in real-time or leave the session open for self-paced language learning. Time has also been taken to listen to students and teachers to ensure that Connect’s functionality actually increases the time each student spends speaking and actively practicing during classes.
Moreover, it is important to note that cloud-based solutions often help to decrease learners’ anxiety and increase their willingness to communicate. For some learners, communicating with or via technology can be less stressful than doing it face-to-face in a classroom environment.
With over 60 years experience in the language teaching sector, Sanako and its partners well understand that all education settings are different. No two schools are the same and no two universities will want exactly the same system set-up. Our local resellers are expert in understanding your specific needs and requirements and developing tailored integrations that meet them precisely. Visit the dedicated resellers page on our website to find your local expert.