Robotel...When I first heard this, I thought of a telephone company. Something complicated, tech-heavy, and not for me. Then they threw even more names and acronyms at me. SmartClass, Let’s Talk, MAD, LAD, LTE. I was confused!
By Hannah Haase
Date of Creation: 2020-02-18
Last Update: 2023-02-15
What is what and what:
- SmartClass (SC)
- SmartClass HUB and SmartClass LIVE (formerly MAD and LAD)
- In summary
Robotel is the name of the company. That’s easy enough. Robotel Inc. is a global leader in educational technology. They develop, manufacture, and market digital language lab software platforms that are used in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Their SmartClass digital language lab software is used in foreign language labs, modern language labs, world language labs, and second language labs around the globe.
The achievements (from their website www.robotel.com):
"We are proud of the recognition that others have awarded to our spectacular language lab software products and to our talented people
At the international awards ceremony held annually at the ITEX Invention, Innovation & Technology Conference, Robotel’s SmartClass language lab platform has twice won a Gold Award for outstanding achievement in the Education category, (2013 & 2015). (So far!)
Robotel participates in a variety of International and domestic language teaching conferences worldwide. Our SmartClass digital language lab software is used in foreign language labs, modern language labs, world language labs, and second language labs around the globe."
2. SmartClass (SC)
SmartClass, or short "SC", is the name of the software that a very smart person named Marek (and his whiz-bang team of software development engineers) developed. This software was used for many years in traditional language labs, so teachers could pair students, record them listen to their conversations and pronunciation and so forth. In the past couple of years though, it has become something even greater. A modern language teaching solution for teachers and students of many languages. Accessible from any device, anywhere, at any time, it can host everything teachers and students need, from assignments, grammar charts, pronunciation activities, grades, to still being used in a modern language lab setting in the classroom for live testing, presentations, and group activities.
3. SmartClass HUB and SmartClass LIVE (formerly MAD and LAD)
Within SC, there are two major components, the HUB and LIVE . Depending on what kind of activity you are running, you are using a different part of the software.
The "HUB" was formerly known as MAD and stood for Media Activity Dashboard. The HUB is where you (teacher) start. You create classes/courses, import students, upload media/audio files, create and assign activities, and grade and review your student's work. Within the software, there are many different templates for activities, such as multiple choice, fill in the blanks, listening, recordings, videos and what not.
And then there was LAD, the Live Activity Dashboard, which now is simply "LIVE". The LIVE is obviously everything live in the classroom, that would equal a language lab. Computers or mobile devices are connected, the teacher can see what’s going on on the screens, can listen in on conversations, students can share their screen with everyone or on the projector, they can be paired up without having to move seats and and and. If you don't have the LIVE portion, then you simply build groups and teams and you just can’t record the students or listen to them all.
For classes where students bring their own laptops, tablets, Chromebooks or even smart phones to class, the BYOD Manager (Bring Your Own Device) is used to get students connected to the right teacher and the right class.
Remote access the media library (activities & responses) is provided for both students and teachers. If the library is cloud-hosted, everyone has direct access through the web. If the library is school-hosted, an additional module known as the SC WEB Manager is used as a gateway between the web and the school's data network.
LTE stands for “Let’s Talk! English”. That’s the complete English (ESL/EFL) all-skills (reading, writing, listening & speaking) digital curriculum that a team of authors has been developing for Robotel. The content is all housed in their software, only teachers get a printed handbook. It’s like the textbook and workbook you are using right now, just not printed. Kind of an ebook but all the exercises are also in the software (and 80% of them are automatically graded!) No more printing or correcting on paper. All in the system. Kind of nice, yet scary at first!
5. In summary
Okay, so here is what you need to know. Robotel is a great company that has been working for and with teachers for over 30 years to simplify and enhance language teaching. In order to do that, they created a software, called SmartClass. That software is capable of lots of great things. Either to be used as a live language lab (for pairs, groups, and individual testing) in the classroom (SC LIVE) or to assign activities to students to work on (individually) in class or at home (HUB). The software supports many languages and can be used for foreign language teaching all over the world.
A few years ago, Robotel went a step further and decided to integrate their own content with the software. That content is a complete CEFR curriculum for ESL/EFL/ELL called “Let’s Talk! English”. It includes material for the CEFR levels from A1-B2.
If you are NOT an English teacher, you can still use the software and just create activities there in minutes for your students to do. So you can do your own “Let’s Talk! German” or “Let’s Talk! Spanish” with your own materials. However, busy as you are, you might not want to put in more time and effort into creating another supplemental material, correct?
Well, I got good news for you! Robotel is debating where to go next, so your input is very important! What would YOU like them to do next? you can help us, contacting us and telling your opinion to us.
This is your chance to comment and have your voice heard!
Contact us if you would like more information.