Google for Education’s latest tool is helping teachers become more efficient

Study International | August 20, 2019

Google for Education has made teachers lives’ much easier over the years, helping them move towards a digitally-connected era with software such as G Suite for Education and Google Classroom. The newly-unveiled Google Assignments, an updated version of CourseKit, has plenty of new features, seeking to help teachers save time when it comes to grading and checking papers. According to TechCrunch, “The software combines aspects of Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Search into a new tool that’s focused on the creation and management of schoolwork, including the collection, grading and feedback process — and now, the ability to check for plagiarism, as well.” Google Assignments also allows students to run “originality reports” up to three times to check for plagiarism, giving them the chance to fix their errors before handing in their assignments, saving teachers valuable time by the time it comes to grading. “With the plagiarism checker — the feature called “Originality Reports” — teachers can check for missed citations and other issues. When the work is turned in and locked, the feature will check the student’s text against “hundreds of billions of web pages” and “tens of millions of books,” says Google.” When the students submit their assignments, teachers will receive the final Originality Report that indicates missed citations and notes the sources.

Spotlight

While 72% of college students are still grinding it out in the classroom, 14% are in hybrid programs (both online and in the classroom,) and the remaining 14% are taking their classes solely online. The majority of college students are under the age of 21, but 8% of people 40 years of age and older are still reaching their academic goals by attending school.

Spotlight

While 72% of college students are still grinding it out in the classroom, 14% are in hybrid programs (both online and in the classroom,) and the remaining 14% are taking their classes solely online. The majority of college students are under the age of 21, but 8% of people 40 years of age and older are still reaching their academic goals by attending school.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

SU Prep Digital Teams Up With Google Public Sector to Develop Streaming Educational Curriculum With Universal Access

ASU Prep Digital | July 19, 2022

ASU Prep Digital, an accredited online K-12 school offered through Arizona State University, has partnered with Google Public Sector, to make remote immersive learning technology more accessible to students across the United States and around the world. ASU Prep Learning Cloud is a streaming solution that empowers schools to deliver innovative and interactive 3D learning experiences to students using low-bandwidth devices. The technology was developed on and is powered by Google Cloud.This new platform invites students to solve challenges by immersing themselves in interactive settings made possible by technology. For example, students can watch geologic formations emerge through simulations rather than reading about it in a textbook. Students can also explore human organs in 3D or examine a plastic mannequin. This brings topics like erosion, hydrolysis, and human anatomy to life. To successfully complete a lesson, students must think critically about the concept, explore it, and learn through discovery. Real-time, instructive feedback also helps contribute to a more individualized learning experience. “We’re turning students into explorers by embedding learning into the digital formats that students love, We spark curiosity by asking students to navigate 3D worlds, hypothesize, and discover knowledge by manipulating game-like simulations to solve real-world problems.” -David Sudarma, ASU Prep’s chief technology officer Advancing Accessibility The ASU Prep Learning Cloud represents an important step toward accessibility for students in rural areas, with limited broadband access, and districts where limited technology funding makes it difficult to deliver cutting-edge learning opportunities. This immersive cloud-based education technology can be experienced from mobile devices or Chromebooks, increasing accessibility for all learners, anytime, anywhere. Removing those barriers is especially important for a program like ASU Digital Prep, which can be instrumental in bridging gaps for districts where resources are slim. ASU Prep Digital has allowed us to partner and advance educational opportunities for thousands of K-12 students who might not have otherwise had access to the courses, credits, mentors, and teachers we offer, said Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who is widely known as a pioneer of online education. Crow’s vision has created a tech-enhanced learning environment across ASU, inclusive of pre-collegiate students via ASU Prep Digital. A key element of that vision is expanded opportunities in online education, which offers a path to higher education for students who are otherwise hindered from pursuing their education goals. In addition to its rapidly expanding K-12 enrollment, ASU Prep Digital’s School Partnerships continue to grow. The program supports entire school districts in states like Utah, Louisiana and Ohio, as well as schools in 22 states and 12 countries. Powerhouse Partnerships In addition to the full- and part-time students who enroll directly with ASU Prep Digital, the school also teams with private schools, public schools, and districts worldwide to offer a K-12 curriculum and one-on-one instruction in a virtual environment. The program’s latest suite of courses, which will be available this fall to partner schools via the ASU Prep Learning Cloud, powered by Google Cloud, can be used in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As pioneers in their respective industries, ASU Prep Digital and Google Public Sector worked to develop the platform, which is based on game engine technology. The ASU Prep Learning Cloud features responsive design optimized for the most commonly used devices (e.g., Chromebooks, mobile phones) using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). “Our partnership with ASU Prep Digital has the ability to unlock new and innovative academic opportunities for learners across the country, We’re unleashing the power of Google Cloud to help make individualized, digital, and interactive learning the new standard in education.” -Steven Butschi, director of Education, Google Public Sector Courses integrate seamlessly into existing learning management systems, while supporting robust interactive features that personalize learning. The platform currently supports ASU Prep Digital partner schools, but in the future, could be rolled out to other educational institutions. As immersive technologies become more widely adapted in education, 3D learning environments such as augmented reality and virtual reality offer great potential for engagement and retention, Our collaboration with Google Public Sector is a terrific first step in expanding access to immersive solutions across many devices, and we’re working together to explore ways immersive technologies can be made even more universally available to eager learners. To preview a snapshot of ASU Prep Learning Cloud courses, visit: https://vimeo.com/623494408 or take a deeper look at the immersive platform here: https://vimeo.com/689344144/795e785a7c About ASU Prep Digital ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school that offers a single online course or enrollment in a full-time, diploma-granting program. Because it is part of Arizona State University, ASU Prep Digital offers an accelerated path toward college admission and the chance to earn concurrent high school and university credit. For more information, visit asuprepdigital.org.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Texthelp Releases U.S. Data Highlighting State of Learning for Students with Dyslexia

Texthelp | August 18, 2022

Today, Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and digital learning tools for education, released new survey results on the current state of teaching and learning for students with dyslexia. The survey, concluding in March 2022, reflects insights from more than 3,000 school staff representing thousands of schools across the country. The goal was to identify common problems in student teaching and learning that could be addressed, and to help build better, more inclusive learning environments. According to nearly half of the teachers surveyed, assistive technology is one of the top approaches that helps students with dyslexia, along with reading and phonemic awareness instruction. With one billion people globally living with a non-visible disability, such as dyslexia, it is critical that all students have the tools they need to understand and learn. How students digest information and communicate their knowledge looks different for everyone. More inclusive approaches to learning, such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), are the future of education. "I have severe dyslexia and looking back, I could have benefited from having early access to assistive technology that was designed for people just like me," said Sierra Goodfellow, a current student. "Instead, I endured many barriers and obstacles while learning. It wasn't until much later that I finally found an assistive technology tool that understood me. I had thought something was wrong with me when really I needed a tool that was made for someone who thinks differently." "It would be extremely valuable for students like Sierra and teachers of students with dyslexia if the right accommodations were always available from the start, Texthelp. "All students should have a choice in how they learn. For Sierra, that was being able to understand the text by listening to it being read aloud." Martin McKay, Founder and CEO, Texthelp. More than 52 percent of teachers surveyed find 'a lot of value' in providing students with dyslexia access to assistive technology tools. However, more than 54 percent of the respondents said their district will only provide accommodations to students who show a need. Providing tools to only those students who 'show' signs of their disability or disclose their learning challenges leaves out many students who are either undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or are afraid to disclose their diagnosis to indicate the support that they need."It is critical that all school districts provide assistive technology tools to every student, whether or not they are neurodivergent, neurotypical, or physically disabled," said McKay. "Providing tools for all students can bolster inclusivity in the classroom and welcomes all types of learners. Students should be attuned to how they learn best. Thoughtful, inclusive practices in the classroom make learning easier and more enjoyable for everyone." Additional findings from the survey include: 52% find assistive technology tools to be highly valuable for students with dyslexia Assistive technology tools can benefit all students, especially those with hidden disabilities, such as dyslexia. Providing assistive technology tools with various capabilities that are designed using UDL principles is most effective in supporting student success. Most districts provide free tools, such as built-in tools (71.73%) and free accessibility apps (54.87%), to students as a source of reading/writing accommodations Free tools and built-in tools aren't accessible everywhere throughout a students' education journey. When using these tools, students are limited in where they can utilize their accommodations. Oftentimes, users cannot access these tools when taking tests or searching online, which can create more barriers than solutions. Respondents felt that the best ways to make assistive technology more impactful for students with dyslexia are: Having the ability to identify student needs and match those with appropriate digital learning tools (55.51%) Having teachers embrace assistive technology in the classroom (52.10%) More training for staff (50.55%) About Texthelp Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company helping people all over the world to understand and to be understood. It has led the way in creating innovative technology for the education and workplace sectors for the last three decades.Texthelp believes in a world where difference, disability or language are no longer barriers. It is focused on helping all people learn, understand, and communicate through the use of digital education and accessibility tools. With over 50 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, Equatio®, WriQ®, OrbitNote®, ReachDeck® and FluencyTutor® which work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite, enabling them to be integrated quickly into any classroom or workplace with ease.In 2021, Texthelp acquired the Lingit Group, Wizkids and Don Johnston Inc. By combining capabilities and knowledge across the group, Texthelp can now provide a whole suite of literacy and numeracy support to a greater number of end-users across more geographies.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Saritasa Develops Virtual Reality Training Program for Loadstar Railcar Inspecting & Loading

Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022

Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training. "Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome." Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa About Loadstar Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. About Saritasa Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.

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