Building a Graduation Nation

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Last month the 2015 Building a Grad Nation annual Report was released. This report shows the progress that states are making towards increasing graduation rates in the US. It comes from the GradNation campaign put forth by America’s Promise Alliance, whose mission is to find ways to ensure students have the resources they need to succeed.

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Google’s Global Reach in Education

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Over 40 million students and teachers have access to Google Apps for Education (GAFE) in the world today. While Google’s popularity in schools can be seen clearly across North America, there is also a rapid international growth that is taking place.

Texthelp recently had the opportunity to see this first hand while attending Google Education events in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Taichung, Taiwan. While similar enthusiasm exists for GAFE in these areas, most users are just getting started with Google Apps in their setting. I’ve included a few key takeaways from both regions below for those curious about education in other parts of the world.

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Congrats to our Partners at ETIN

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This week’s post comes to us from Katie Gilligan, VP of Texthelp’s Professional Solutions division. She attended the SIIA ETIN Education Industry Summit earlier this month, and has put together a recap of some of the highlights of this event.

Educational technology removes barriers to access and improves learning for a growing population of ‘next gen’ learners. Students today are native tech users, and we all strive to understand the rapid changes in how technology is used in education.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is an organization that helps connect the education industry and guides investment in new software and digital content.

SIIA’s Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) 2015 Education Industry Summit (EIS) wrapped up on May 5th, with over 300 senior education publishing executives in attendance. The summit offered a range of sessions designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of online learning programs.

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Make Materials Accessible with Your Phone Using Snapverter

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For those who aren’t familiar, Snapverter™ is a Texthelp tool that makes it easy for teachers to turn their paper worksheets and inaccessible files into accessible classroom content.

Snapverter takes files like images, inaccessible PDFs and Daisy books and converts them to accessible PDFs and ePubs. The app integrates with Google Drive, so converted materials can be easily shared with students and colleagues.

One of the most popular (and creative) ways that we’ve seen Snapverter used is on a smartphone or other mobile device. You can snap a quick photo of a document or worksheet and use Snapverter to convert it into a PDF – turning your smartphone into an OCR scanner!

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Win a Chromebook During Teacher Appreciation Week

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This week kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week in the U.S., which is the designated time of year to say thanks for all of the hard work that educators put into helping today’s youth prepare for a successful future. While we should all appreciate teachers every day, Texthelp is joining in this week’s activities by offering a chance to win a Chromebook each day, and renewing every educator’s free subscription to the premium version of Read&Write for Google Chrome™.

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Reading in the UK: The Next Steps

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The statistics on child literacy in recent times in the UK, tell a depressing story .  According to the Minister of State for School Reform, Nick Gibb, “Of those children who failed to achieve a level 4 in English at the end of primary school in 2009, only one in 10 went on to achieve five good GCSEs, including English and Maths.”

The UK Government recently released a report on addressing literacy standards in schools.  They called it Reading: the next steps. Supporting Higher standards in schools

The report looks at the growing problem of low literacy in the UK and highlights the steps that can be taken to help. In the report, there is a fundamental statement which underpins everything that the next steps hope to achieve, “Pupils who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career. In addition to its substantial practical benefits, reading is one of life’s profound joys.”

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