A Startup Partnership With Google to Support Active Student Listening


For the past three years, we at Listenwise have used our small but effective inside sales force to sell premium subscriptions to schools and districts. It has been challenging with such a small staff to have a big impact.

That’s why we looked for larger partners. What we found was a perfect fit with Google

Google is a growing presence in K-12 education. Chromebooks are the number-one-selling devices in U.S. schools. A survey by the Education Week Research Center found that Chromebooks—devices using Google’s Chrome operating system—are the school-provided devices that K-12 officials say are most often used for classroom purposes in their districts, by a wide margin. More and more schools and districts are using Gmail as the primary form of email. Others are using Google Drive to create and share documents.

Winning a Coveted Partnership

Google is also helping schools develop students’ future skills and Listenwise is now a part of it! Listenwise was selected as one tool among Google’s active listening bundle of apps. We are paired with Fluency Tutor, an app that helps students practice their reading fluency and allows teachers to easily give feedback.

Together, Listenwise and Fluency Tutor are being offered as an active listening, skills building toolbox for teachers using Chromebooks.

As a company, we evaluated this opportunity closely. Would it align with our goals to build student listening skills across the curriculum? Would it broaden our reach? Could we also continue to offer Listenwise Premium to schools and districts who are using or not using Chromebooks. These hurdles were cleared and we relished this opportunity.

Preparing Students for an Unknown Future

As part of Chomebook sales, Google will offering a suite of apps that addresses specific skills. Google found that 60 percent of the jobs our students will be graduating into don’t currently exist. How can we prepare students for jobs that don’t exist? The answer is, we can help provide students with skills that are necessary for success in any job.

A research study commissioned by Google, found a higher need for skills around problem solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity. These are the skills of the future, and they can be taught. 

Listening is a skill recognized by Google as being key to job success. That’s where Listenwise comes in. 

For us, this partnership means Google recognizes the importance of listening as a critical 21st century skill. I couldn’t agree more, and with a huge brand like Google behind us, we hope more people will pay attention to what we have to offer to build students’ listening and literacy skills.

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