MyLingoKids keeps young learners on track with Apifonica’s SMS notifications

Anna Sopova
Success stories

Teaching children online is not all the same as teaching adults. Young learners have a shorter attention span; they are less tolerant of boredom and are way more prone to lose motivation. For online platforms that work with young learners, engagement and motivation issues are of top importance.

Online education is not obligatory; it’s subject to the student’s willingness to learn. So online school success very much depends on student’s (and their parents’) satisfaction. While young learners are primarily looking for an enjoyable learning experience, it is the outcome that matters most for their parents. What keeps students motivated and committed to classes is the teacher’s ability to transform lessons into intriguing learning experiences. The more they are engaged into the learning journey, the better they perform and the faster they reach their learning milestones.

A teacher’s mastery in motivating students has a major impact on learning achievements in online education. But there is another important factor that often remains underestimated - regular class attendance.

The importance of being present

Recently a whole series of studies revealed that class attendance strongly affects academic performance. Children chronically absent in kindergarten show lower levels of achievement in math, reading and general knowledge during first grade (source). At early grades, children who miss more than 10% of classes are at risk of not reaching key milestones such as reading at grade level by 3d grade (source).

Attendance is particularly important in foreign language learning, where the core part of the learning process is an active interaction between the educator and the learners. Regular classes directly affect learning outcome, so improving attendance may have a positive impact on student retention rates. That’s why MyLingoKids, a foreign language learning platform for kids and teens, pays special attention to class attendance.

Class reminders to improve attendance

To ensure regular attendance, MyLingoKids uses advanced schedule management and class notification system. A few hours before the scheduled time, each student receives a class notification via email and personalized notifications on the MyLingoKids platform. However, email is hardly enough to combat absenteeism. On average, only 1 in 5 emails get read by recipients, and only 1 in 10 readings happen within 1 hour from the reception.

At the same time, a class reminder that is timely delivered and read can have a noticeable impact on attendance. Research shows, the main reason for no-shows at scheduled appointments is simple forgetfulness. “I’ve just forgotten” explains 30-40% of all no-shows (source). With that in mind, MyLingoKids decided to upgrade its schedule management system with SMS notifications.

The platform accommodates students from all around the world so they were looking for an SMS provider who could, first, reach all of their international clientele, and second, integrate with their existing class scheduling software. Apifonica was able to provide both global SMS capabilities and integration API, so they’ve started the integration process.

The power of SMS in e-learning

Thanks to Apifonica’s public SMS API, MyLingoKids have quickly added SMS to their existing class scheduling system. This integration automatically sends SMS reminders to students or their parents a few hours before the scheduled class. The first message arrives when the student registered with the platform. At this moment they are first exposed to MyLingoKids’s alphanumeric sender ID - a set of characters that replaces a phone number. The recipients see “MyLingoKids” as a sender and may easily recognize all the future messages received from the school.

Unlike emails, 9 in 10 SMS messages get read within 3 minutes of being received. A positive impact of SMS reminders on students attendance rate was almost immediate. “After a couple of weeks after implementing SMS, we’ve started noticing a decrease in missed classes,” a MyLingoKids representative says. “Although we may not be able to address every factor that impacts student attendance, SMS reminders proved to be a powerful way to support those who miss classes due to forgetfulness.”

Not only SMS reminders help to improve attendance, but they also contribute to student retention rate and, consequently, customer lifetime value. “In fact, chronic absenteeism is a primary cause of low academic achievement at every grade level, and it is a strong indicator of which students are at a higher risk for dropping out,” study reveals. The better learners attend, the better outcomes they achieve. The more they (and their parents) are satisfied with the result, the longer they stay with the platform. MyLingoKids is a perfect example of how the relevant communication channel may increase customer lifetime value in e-learning.

MyLingoKids is a foreign language learning platform for children and teens 4 to 17 years old. Created in collaboration with child psychologists, it employs the advanced teaching methodology that makes the online learning experience enjoyable for young learners. All teachers at MyLingoKids are certified language tutors and native speakers of the language they teach. They are constantly trained by child-psychologists and language experts to offer high-quality language lessons with a fun and intriguing approach. The platform offers language lessons for English. German, French, Italian, Spanish and Chinese and welcomes kids and adolescents from around the world.

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