Israeli app supports Ukrainian teachers with free online course

ByMike V. Cooper

Sep 14, 2022

Ukrainian teachers will learn how to organize distance education for their refugee students using a free instant messaging and voice communication application.

The new “Teach the Teachers” chatbot, launched by Rakuten Viber, will support millions of teachers and students forced to start or continue distance education.

Viber, the Israeli-founded company owned by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, is partnering with Ukrainian education studio EdEra to develop online courses that address the challenges teachers face when teaching remotely.

The free course consists of 10 modules covering topics such as organizing homework through Viber, motivating students to engage in remote learning, and tracking attendance records and knowledge retention.

Ukrainian schools are unable to facilitate full-time in-person instruction due to ongoing dangers in the region. A survey conducted by Viber Rakuten this month revealed that 66% of respondents will study online and 55% of Ukrainians think distance learning is a favorable solution.

“It is difficult to provide education when everyone is isolated, as we have seen throughout Covid and continues now in Ukraine,” said Ofir Eyal, CEO of Rakuten Viber.

“Viber has become one of the main communication tools for distance learning in these regions.

“We want to help children continue their learning during these difficult times and help teachers – who are in their third year of distance learning – find better and smoother processes to maximize productivity.”

As distance and blended learning continues in other European regions, the “Teach the Teachers” chatbot will also be available in Greece and Bulgaria.

Viber is a free instant messaging application that allows users to connect through voice and video calls. It was founded in 2010 in Bene Brak, Israel, and was acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten in 2014 for $900 million.