It’s even easier to know who’s who by showing email addresses!

In a good Kialo discussion, there’s rarely one clear answer. Likewise, Kialo Edu gives you options on how to use the platform, depending on what works best for you. 

That’s why we’ve added the option to show your email address on Kialo Edu. In addition to display names, visible email addresses are another way of making it easy to see who’s who. For users who opt to show their email address, you’ll see it in a few places:

Going forward, all new accounts will show their associated email address by default. Existing accounts will not show email addresses unless the feature is manually enabled in the User Settings. 

Further information

To see more about showing email addresses, take a look at our Help Center.

Keeping you safe with ISO Certification

Since its inception, Kialo Edu has been a privacy-first platform, and today we are happy to announce that we passed the ISO 27001 security audit and have been certified accordingly.

Educators can use Kialo Edu without sharing any of their or students’ private data. But if they choose to do so, they can rest assured that their data will be stored safely, as demanded by the most rigorous security standards.

For more information about how we handle security and privacy, please have a look at our Data Security and Privacy Plan.

Secure and foolproof invites with the Contact List!

At Kialo Edu, we do everything we can for students’ privacy and teachers’ convenience. So, we’re delighted to be taking our latest step in both directions: the Contact List!

The Contact List will be automatically activated on every Kialo Edu account. Going forward, a user must be on your Contact List before you can invite them to a discussion or to a Team with their username or display name. Students can only be added to a Contact List through restricted routes (such as email addresses or Team Invite Links), making their accounts more secure and your invites foolproof.

In short, the Contact List makes connecting with the right users easier and safer.

Hey, can I add you to my contacts?

A Contact List will be automatically generated for every existing account based on their past interactions. If you’ve ever done any of the below with your students, they’ll already be on your list!

There are three ways to add someone to your Contact List:

  1. Invite a user to a discussion using the email address associated with their Kialo Edu account. Both you and the user will be added to each other’s Contact List.
  2. All members of a Team will be added to each other’s Contact List. Add users to a Team through an email invite, a Team Invite Link, or a QR code.
  3. All members of a collection of Managed Accounts will be added to each other’s Contact List.

Once someone is added to your Contact List, then you can use their display name or username to invite them to a discussion or to a Team. Same convenience, more security.

Finally, users are never removed from your Contact List unless the account is suspended or deleted—so don’t worry about your students giving you the slip!

Further information

You can learn more about the Contact List in our Help Center!

Skip the signups and logins with Instant Access!

You asked and we delivered! With Instant Access, your students can now join Kialo discussions without ever having to create an account. (Thanks for the great idea, by the way.)

Students just follow a link or QR code, enter a name, and start discussing!

A quick check-in

With Instant Access, it is now even easier to integrate Kialo Edu discussions into your classroom. No more messing around with logins or signups—the only entry requirement is a name! 

Instant Access is perfect for pairing with the unique QR code generated for each discussion on Kialo Edu (available in the Sharing tab of the discussion settings). Simply ask your students to take out their devices, scan the QR code on the screen, and they’re in.

While we still recommend student accounts for making and tracking multiple discussions, Instant Access is great for a one-off conversation. Want an engaging icebreaker at the start of a lesson, or a quick formative assessment at the end? Time for an Instant Access discussion!

Instant setup, Instant Access

We built this feature to simplify the Kialo Edu experience, and that goes for the setup, too! All you need to do is create a discussion (why not pick one of our fantastic templates?) and then click the Share button on the top-right of the screen. Now tick the box for Instant Access.

To get the QR code for the discussion, select the QR code icon () on the right-hand side of the Enable Link Sharing bar. Or just use the sharing link itself. Done!

Further information

For more on this feature, as well as more information on all aspects of Kialo Edu, visit our Help Center

From Templates to QR codes: Kialo Edu’s 2022 feature roundup!

2022 was a big year for us, and we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the many ways we’ve (hopefully!) made educators’ lives easier. We’ve picked our top new features from the past year and put them in this handy blog post, so you can be sure you’re not missing out on everything Kialo Edu has to offer!

Kialo Templates

We’ll start with our biggest milestone of 2022: Kialo Templates! These are ready-to-go discussion resources, designed for students to dive right into. Each template comes with a background text to activate students’ knowledge, as well as a few “starter claims” to spark thoughtful discussion from the get-go. Just select a template from our extensive library, make a copy for yourself, and let the discussion begin!

With over 150 templates in 12 subject areas, there’s something for just about everyone. And rest assured, we’ll keep the new templates coming! If there’s a template you really want to see, we’d love for you to drop us a message in our Help Center or on one of our socials.


With Tasks, educators can set clear objectives for their students from the start. Want your learners to develop each others’ claims more? There’s a task for that! Or maybe vote through a discussion to decide the strongest argument? No problem—there’s a task for that too. How about writing a total number of claims? Well, you get the idea.

Tasks are easy to set and monitor, saving you time. Plus, Tasks are presented in a handy sidebar as soon as students enter a discussion, so your class will know exactly what’s expected of them. Simple for everyone!

Anonymous Discussions

No need to be anonymous here: We made this feature, and we’re proud of it! Anonymous Discussions assign participants a colorful animal avatar as a fun alter ego. While discussion owners can see who’s who at any time, students can share their ideas with less fear of judgment.

Display Names

Are your students still writing claims under usernames like “JohnDoe123”? Using display names, users can just be “John”! These names support non-Latin characters, too, so John can also be “Джон,” “ג’ון,” or “जॉन”! If you’re worried about all the Johns in your class, rest assured you can still see real usernames by clicking on a user’s display name or avatar.

QR codes for discussion and team invites

Did we mention that we like to make teacher life just a little easier? Hopefully we’ve managed to help by adding QR codes, which students can scan to join a discussion or a team!

Thank you!

Kialo Edu exists to support educators and their practice, so we quite literally wouldn’t be here without you. In fact, some of these features were your ideas, so please let us know if there are any more you’d like to see. Thanks for trusting us to make a difference in your classroom, and keep checking back for all the great new features coming in 2023!

If you’d like to review all the features that we’ve specifically built for educators, take a look at this list in our Help Center.

Dive right into a deep discussion with Kialo Templates!

Kialo Edu is an amazing tool for getting students talking. But it can be hard to find the time to set up a good discussion, especially when you can barely see past the mountain of grading and admin piling up on your desk.

Lower your workload—but not your standards—with Kialo Templates! Each template is a ready-to-go discussion resource that students can dive right into, complete with background info and a few prompt claims to get the gears turning. This means it’s now even easier to bring Kialo into your classroom. Simply make a copy for yourself, pass it along to your students, and watch the discussion grow.

Something for everyone

Our library of templates includes nearly 150 topics (and counting!) across age groups and subject areas, so there’s something for just about everyone.

We’ve got debates on the greats! From the great American novel, to the “great experiment” of democracy, to a certain Alexander, our library covers important curricular topics across a dozen subjects. We’re also bringing class discussion outside the humanities, with templates on a wealth of topics in science, technology, and economics. 

We’ve got a bunch of fun icebreakers, too, but now we’re just bragging… With too much to list here, why not check out our selection yourself?

Make each template your own

Just in case we don’t have exactly what you need, it’s easy to put your own spin on a template! When copying a template, you can change or exclude any element: title, thesis, background info, starter claims, or cover image. Kialo Templates aren’t a fixed menu—you’re welcome to take our ideas à la carte. Or take nothing but the inspiration, and cook up your own discussion!

But wait, there’s more!

Hopefully we’ve got your favorite topic covered in this batch of templates. But if not, don’t worry: we will be updating this library on a rolling basis. Check back in a few months, or message us on one of our socials with topics you would love to see in the templates!

Further information

Want to know more? Visit our Help Center for an in-depth explanation of how to use Kialo Templates.

Put the spotlight on ideas with Anonymous Discussions!

When it comes to class discussion, one of the biggest roadblocks to participation is plain old fear of judgment. Especially when discussing controversial topics, opening up your ideas to critique can be anxiety-inducing, leading many students to keep their thoughts to themselves. And let’s be honest: Sometimes students react not just to ideas, but to who is sharing them.

At Kialo Edu, we’ve come up with a way to sidestep these problems. Presenting Anonymous Discussions, where hidden identities put the spotlight on ideas!

The class menagerie

Instead of students’ usernames or display names, Anonymous Discussions randomly assign each participant (including the teacher) a colorful animal avatar, like “Red Dolphin” or “Yellow Camel.” These anonymous names are shown everywhere that you’d normally see a username or display name.

But of course, for both grading and accountability, discussion owners can see users’ true identities. When you’re ready to see who’s who, head over to the Discussion Settings. Under the Anonymous Participation section, click the List Deanonymized Users button and voilà—a list of everyone’s normal usernames! Importantly, only discussion owners and admins can see real identities: the button will be grayed out for everyone else.

Create your own Anonymous Discussion!

When you’re creating a discussion, you’ll come across the Participation type panel. Select Anonymous Participation and let everyone assume their secret identities!

If you’ve already created a discussion, you can make it anonymous at any time. In the Discussion settings, scroll down to the Anonymous Participation section and click the Change Participation Type button. That’s all! Just note that this is a one-way street: Anonymous Discussions cannot be converted back into standard discussions.

Further information

Check out the Help Center for more details on Anonymous Discussions in Kialo Edu.

Check the evidence with the Sources sidebar!

Kialo Edu may be free, but we’re all about showing receipts! Our platform is designed to train students to cite sources as they make their arguments. But we’re thinking about teachers’ needs, too. Want to quickly check the quality or the diversity of your students’ sources? We’ve got you covered. Using the Sources sidebar, you can see a handy list of all the cited sources in a discussion!

The ABCs of organization

In the Sources sidebar, sources are listed alphabetically. Each source entry includes a convenient link to the claim in which it appears, along with any text entered into the source’s Quote/Note Box. The Sources sidebar brings together everything you need to know about the sources in a discussion, all in one place!

How to access the Sources sidebar

Once you’re in a discussion, simply click the Discussion Menu icon ( ), where the Sources item will show you everything you need. Nothing to it!

Further information

Check out the Help Center for more details on viewing sources in Kialo Edu.

Managed Accounts: Your one-stop shop for handling student accounts!

Online learning platforms have so much potential to get your students engaged and thinking outside the box. But having students create their own accounts can be a real slog, and we all dread the inevitable cry of “My login doesn’t work!”

Sidestep the hassle of having your students set up their accounts by easily setting them up yourself! Managed Accounts allow you to create your students’ accounts and reset their passwords at will. No more lengthy email exchanges with the IT department to get Timmy’s password changed!

Account for all the accounts

As educators, we know some of the headaches often associated with online learning, so we created Managed Accounts to make setting up your students’ accounts simple:

  • Worried about the names some of your more audacious students might pick? Don’t worry; you set them yourself.
  • Concerned that your student who can’t even remember their pencil won’t remember their password? No problem—you can reset their password as often as needed.
  • And worried that your students don’t have (or don’t remember) their school email addresses? None needed. Everything is done through their username, which you created.

Managed Accounts streamline what is often the most painful part of the edtech experience, leaving you with one quick and easy interface for handling your students’ login details.

Managerial efficiency

Let’s just say that some schools aren’t known for their managerial efficiency. Managed Accounts aims to be the administrative system you always wanted, letting you set up a batch of student accounts all by yourself, in one convenient window. 

On the My Kialo page, select the Managed Accounts tab. Here, you can paste multiple usernames simultaneously, and also invite them all to a pre-existing team. You can even click the dice icon if you want us to generate a random password for you (rumor has it that “Guest123” is not entirely watertight).

In most cases, that’s it! Just give your students their login details and they are ready to go. If any students forget their password, you can change it by clicking on the three dots to the right of their account in the Managed Accounts section.

Managed Accounts takes admin off your plate so you can focus on the important things, like giving feedback on your students’ great contributions or finally getting around to your lunch after break duty!

Further information

Our Help Center has much more detail on the nuances of Managed Accounts—check it out!

And if you’d prefer never to deal with student accounts to begin with, take a look at our Instant Access feature!

Give students specific and private pointers with Teacher Feedback!

Teaching is tough, and teaching well is tougher. One of the cornerstones of good practice is targeted and detailed feedback, but trailing through student books and giving handwritten feedback can be laborious.

In the interests of trimming precious minutes off your marking time, we have created Teacher Feedback. This nifty little feature lets you leave private, detailed feedback on an individual student’s work in a shared discussion, all at the click of a button.

Right where you need it

Using Teacher Feedback, you can leave feedback on specific claims so students know exactly what you’re referring to. What’s more, the dedicated Teacher Feedback box is a step up from the plain old comments section, where your invaluable insights could be lost in the chatter! Teacher Feedback is attached directly to the claim, so your students will have a hard time missing it (although they may still try)!

Public or private?

You may be all too aware that Maria is notorious for omitting her sources, but Alex doesn’t need to know that, too. That’s why you can toggle the visibility of your feedback between public, only you and the student, or even just you! So if you’d like, you can use Teacher Feedback as your own personal note-taking system.

Further information

Want to know more? Check out Teacher Feedback in our Help Center!