Jason Carroll, Director of Product Management

Coronavirus and Remote Learning

It’s incredibly hard to escape the headlines.  We’re hearing about COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) every day now. It’s an issue that has dominated the global news since the start of the year, increasing in intensity over the last week.

UNESCO is reporting that over 370 million students around the world are currently out of school. At the moment, some schools are closing anywhere between two days to two weeks, but health officials in some countries warn they could even close for anything up to two months. In Higher Education, many institutions have moved all of their classes online, anything from one month to the remaining of the semester. 

As a result, more and more schools are either planning or implementing their Academic Continuity Plans and looking to remote instruction to help safeguard both students and staff. Teachers are also engaging students in lessons using tools such as YouTube, Google Classroom and Meet, Microsoft Teams and Office tools online - not to mention a range of complimentary tools supporting everything from assessment, feedback and peer-to-peer collaboration. 


Texthelp tools and Google Classroom

At Texthelp, our vision is for a world where difference, disability or language are no longer barriers. Technology has a hugely important role to play in helping to remove barriers to learning and at this time, that’s more important than ever.

We’ve always understood that learning and accessing support outside of school is a hugely important part to that learning. Our education tools integrate easily into Google Classroom providing teachers the ability to build resources and instantly set assignments, discussions or provide learning materials. 


How to use Texthelp tools to enhance Remote Learning

We want to do our part to help minimize disruption to crucial teaching and learning time. 

If you need to migrate to remote learning practices, we want to make sure that you’ve got all the support you need to use our technology. Take a look at each one below to understand how they can help support remote teaching and learning practice:


Read&Write

  • Provide consistent literacy support inside and outside of the classroom
  • Use Voice Note to provide personal, oral feedback for assignments
  • Build resources with Vocabulary Builder
  • Highlight notes to aid learning and set research and tasks using the Highlighter tools
  • Provide students with the ability to review content in alternative ways - using Audio Maker to create an audio version of content 
  • Enable leveled reading opportunities with ‘Simplify’ - students can self select reading level on any web page
  • With our PDF Reader - easily annotate notes, complete PDF worksheets and provide marking and feedback quickly and easily


EquatIO mathspace

  • Create rich math resources and activities in mathspace then create as an assignment shared via Google Classroom.
  • Not only can students work within EquatIO mathspace, but you can also share problems with students, keep track of responses, and provide instant feedback. 
  • As students work to complete math problems by themselves or with their classmates in groups online, you can check for their process and understanding.
  • With access to feedback from their teachers, students can continue the learning process without having to be present in the classroom. They can return their updated work to their teacher through EquatIO mathspace. This helps create a valuable, ongoing feedback loop between teacher and student.


WriQ

  • Give fast, meaningful, personalized feedback, with greater clarity to improve student confidence and writing achievement
  • WriQ works directly in Google Classroom, so when students return work teachers can quickly assess, grade and give feedback without leaving Classroom. 
  • Students are provided with real time feedback on their writing pace and ‘bursts’ through the student experience - providing motivation and encouragement when teachers can’t be present.
  • The WriQ Google Classroom integration allows teachers to import their Classroom lists, and see and compare data for each class.  The “classroom” screen on the Dashboard gives teachers the ability to immediately compare average metrics including WriQ Score, Vocabulary Maturity, Words Per Minute (typed), and Accurate Word percentage.  This integration puts WriQ data in a more accessible location and provides a quick snapshot of student writing progress.


FluencyTutor

  • Encourage reading aloud through technology 
  • Assign reading passages to students through Google classroom - ask students to record and practice reading aloud - sending to you for assessment and feedback. Allowing for peer, self and teacher assessment for reading.
  • Assess reading by listening to student recordings, provide oral feedback to students and track progress - plus identify what support tools they’ve used to allow you to spot individual needs.


Not using Google classroom?  No problem...

For our customers using Microsoft, Read&Write offers support across assignments in Teams, and for students using Office 365 on desktop or Word Online students get consistency of support no matter where they are learning. 
 
And for students and teachers working within online assessment and learning management systems, Speechstream can make these platforms more accessible and will allow you to facilitate independence by helping to meet the needs and learning styles of a wide group of students.

  • Support reading comprehension of online content 
  • Reduce de-coding challenges through text-to-speech and synchronous highlighting
  • Allow students to consume online content in alternative ways - using MP3 Maker to create audio versions
  • Give ELL students comprehension and navigation support through text translation and read aloud for a wide range of languages.
  • Use screen-mask to provide support to students who need help focusing

 
So whether you’re facing this challenge right now or planning for academic continuity, our tools are there to:

  • Help students so that they have the support they need to continue their learning whilst out of the classroom
  • Help support educators to create resources, grade and assess work digitally.


If you’re an existing customer or new to our products, we want to hear from you about how we can help, visit our Remote Learning page to find out more.

Comments

Stacey 2/04/2020 7:07:53 PM
Hi -
You mention Language being a barrier that Texthelp can make better. I have 254 students of the 469 in our school that do not speak English at home (mostly Punjabi). Are there more specifics on this? I would be over the moon with joy if that's the case! Online learning is a huge problem for these students whose parents have negligable English.

Deena Kimmel 2/04/2020 7:53:08 PM
Hi Stacey - Yes, Read&Write can help you with that! It has a Translation tool so that students can select an unfamiliar word and have it translated into several languages, including Punjabi. Here is a video to learn more: https://youtu.be/YRnzNnnKFIE

Baccalaureate Academy 24/03/2020 6:13:20 AM
hey nice blog thanks for sharing

Jill Beer 23/03/2020 12:56:22 PM
I am interested to see how EquatiOmathspace works. Math is traditionally much harder to work with in a text based environment because of the number and variety of symbols used.

Deena Kimmel 23/03/2020 3:21:55 PM
Hi Jill! EquatIO mathspace can be super helpful for remote learning. Here's an overview video to learn more: https://youtu.be/zUHYo1gruV8. Please let us know if there's anything else we can do to help at this time.

Thanks!

Terry Smolka 21/03/2020 4:46:11 PM
Does this mean the Read and Write or Chrome is now free? That would be helpful!

Deena Kimmel 23/03/2020 3:19:24 PM
Hi Terry,

We have several offerings at this time. Please visit our Remote Learning landing page to see what's available or to contact us for more information about your unique school/district: https://www.texthelp.com/sectors/education/remote-learning/.

Thanks!

Ruth Ann Fay 21/03/2020 12:35:38 PM
Hi

As a board with read and write gold. How do I help students access this product at home? We office 365.

Thanks

Ruthie

Deena Kimmel 23/03/2020 3:28:30 PM
Hi Ruth Ann - Here is a guide to help you get set up. Please let us know if you have any questions or need anything else at this time. Thanks! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mJ95oCPY4CFI-TL_kljtqDfNlJkhvDMr/view

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