Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tools to Support Learners: Texthelp and Don Johnston Join Forces

Out of all the trainings, videos, and posts I share, one of the most popular topics is how to use technology tools to support learners. Everyone learns differently, and we all struggle in our learning in one way or another at one time or another. Thankfully there are so many helpful tools for accommodations, accessibility, and other support.

A while back I recorded a 1-hour webinar on "Google Tools for Struggling Students" which you can view here: YouTube video link

And I have a 10-page Google Doc packed with technology tools for text to speech, speech to text, readability, reading comprehension, audio support, behavior, focus, organization, and much more, which can be access here: https://bit.ly/curts-support

In these resources you will find many references to the tools created by one of my favorite edtech companies, Texthelp, including Read&Write, Equatio, and more. Just recently Texthelp announced that they are joining forces with Don Johnston to further expand the tools they can offer. Although I had heard of Don Johnston before, I wasn't very familiar with their tools, so I took some time to explore this new partnership. See below for more details on all the tools that Texthelp will be providing now.

The Texthelp Tools

Read&WriteLearn more - Free for teachers

Help students read and write with text-to-speech, word predictions, dictionaries, screen mask, highlighting, translation, vocabulary builder, voice notes, and more.

Equatio Learn more - Free for teachers

Makes math both digital and accessible. Create any expression by typing, handwriting, dictating, or taking pictures, with no tricky coding to master.

OrbitNote Learn more

Annotate on PDFs to create an accessible, dynamic and collaborative space that works for everyone.

WriQ Learn more

Assess and motivate student writing while providing fast and effective feedback on individual written work.

Fluency TutorLearn more

Assess student reading fluency and track progress. Gives extra support to struggling readers & English Language Learners.

The Don Johnston Tools

Co:Writer - Learn more

Uses grammar-smart and vocabulary-smart word prediction, translation support, and speech recognition to support and encourage student writing.

Snap&Read - Learn more

Support reading with dynamic text leveling, translation, text-to-speech, study tools, highlighter, organizer, annotations, and more.

WordBank - Learn more

Create and use word banks from any content for writing, vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and recall.

Quizbot Learn more

Build quizzes automatically from any text with one click. Automatic scoring through Google Forms shows student comprehension instantly.

uPAR - Learn more

Gives data that shows the way each student learns best, whether reading independently or by listening with a read-aloud accommodation.

The Partnership

Both companies have been working on the same goal of supporting learners all along, so having Don Johnston join Texthelp makes perfect sense. It kind of makes me think of Coke and Pepsi joining forces to create more and better drinks (although I am not sure you can get any better than Coke Zero 😄)

Now that Don Johnston has joined Texthelp, the teams will be working together to improve their existing products. For example some of the quick updates and integrations will include:

  • Snap&Read will be able to read math in EquatIO out loud
  • Co:Writer will work in OrbitNote
  • uPAR will recognize if Read&Write or Snap&Read is installed and will link to appropriate resources

And I am excited to see what new features and tools come from them going forward. According to Texthelp, their goal is "to use its assistive technology to help 1 billion people with reading, writing, and numeracy by 2030."

You can learn more details on the Texthelp website.


Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts 

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