Insight: Viber’s global poll shows 75 percent of users said the new school year should start in classrooms

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SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s leading apps for free and easy communication, unveils the results of its global poll in which approximately 185,000 people took part. The poll, performed in 24 countries around the world, showed respondents overwhelmingly using the platform alongside major e-learning products to facilitate communication. More than 70 percent of users say they will use Viber during the coming school year to connect with all three groups: parents, teachers, and students. Viber also introduces a new feature to improve the educational process during the new school year, quiz mode in polls, which can help teachers track student progress.

It has been months since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and still schools globally are weighing how to move forward with the school year. In many countries, students will return to school physically and proceed with social-distancing friendly procedures. Others will employ a hybrid model or go fully remote, an option that has proven quite popular. According to Viber’s poll, 75 percent of respondents said the new school year should start in classrooms. All models, however, will require new methods of fostering education in a way that preserves normalcy as much as possible and ensures children receive access to the resources they need. Viber is serving students and teachers alike as an invaluable tool, whether online or offline, in the classroom or at home.

On average, 22% of the respondents said they use both Viber on desktop and mobile/tablet for educational purposes as a primary tool. This is also the situation in Russia while the percentage for the Philippines, Myanmar, Hungary, and Ukraine is greater: almost 56%, 62%, 27%, and 23% of the countries’ users, respectively, said they use both versions of Viber for the purpose of education. Other countries included in the poll include Western European countries such as the UK, France, and Germany, as well as countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and North Africa.

Viber’s versatile nature—the platform offers services ranging from video chats to group chats and polls, all secured by top-notch encryption—makes it a potent supplementary tool to support online and offline educational processes alike.

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“A year ago, the future of education being 100% remote seemed like an unrealistic vision of the future. The COVID crisis accelerated that process to just just a few weeks. As a parent, I use Viber to communicate with my kids because it is the safest way available and I want to protect them from data collection. But in the last couple of months, I saw many parents, students, and teachers using Viber to stay in touch and continue with the educational process around the globe. We are proud to offer this flexibility and safety to teachers, students, and parents,” said Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber.

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New features will also be released in the coming weeks, reminders in My Notes, and Media Gallery enhancements. In the end of the last school year, Viber was widely used for different educational purposes across the globe. Based on research conducted internally earlier this year by Viber in eight Central and Eastern European countries at the end of the last school year, 65% of the teachers said they used Viber as a tool that supports communication between classes.

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