StrongMind | August 03, 2021
StrongMind today announces the release of a new, innovative K-5 solution designed specifically for hybrid, blended, and virtual learning models. Developed by a team of education experts passionate about fostering student success, the digital curriculum is standards-aligned, research-based, and leverages technology to create a personalized and impactful learning experience for all students.
Using backwards-design and sound teaching pedagogy, the StrongMind K-5 solution engages students with rich media multimedia, including videos, infographics, interactives, comics, and more. Opt-in scaffolds, such as text-to-speech, annotations, translation for 18 languages, closed captions, and more ensure all learners receive the support they need. Most courses include 1-2 projects, guiding students to synthesize their understanding and apply their learning to real-world applications.
For K-1 students, the StrongMind solution uses a unique carousel-style interface with short blocks of text or media to capture and maintain attention. Young learners are also supported with read-along storybooks to reinforce reading skills and fluency.
StrongMind equips teachers with robust resource guides, providing the supports needed to instruct students in hybrid, blended, or virtual learning models. Additionally, teachers can easily tailor learning by customizing discussion questions, modifying sequence control, adding content, and adjusting settings for how students progress through courses. Teachers can view snapshot reports of the whole-class, groups, or individual students with real-time data and actionable insights. They also have a comprehensive view of formative and summative assessment data, including item analysis.
As a unique added benefit, StrongMind has several resources to support parents, families, and learning coaches as students work through K-5 courses. Resources include printable materials, extension and enrichment activities, materials lists, and additional guidance for coaching and online learning.
"From the outset, we designed the StrondMind K-5 curriculum with the end-users in mind, which includes teachers but also parents and students," says Chief Academic Officer, Yovhane Metcalfe. "By working closely with parents to gather feedback and observing students as they interact with courses, we were able to create a user-driven experience that is supported by research- based best practices and aligned to state standards."
StrongMinded K-5 courses are compatible with any instructional model – virtual, hybrid, or blended – ensuring continuity of learning across grade bands or as models change.
StrongMind partners with schools and districts to develop forward-thinking solutions that address unique school challenges. With a consultative approach, engaging digital curriculum, a suite of edtech tools, a range of services, and clear insights, we maximize student achievement and help schools thrive. A recent recipient of multiple Digital Promise Research-Design certifications and winner of more than 60 awards, StrongMind innovates into the future of education.
LEGO Education | August 24, 2020
The LEGO Group and content creation platform Tongal announced today the launch of LEGO® World Builder, a first-of-its-kind story development platform that gives the LEGO fan community and creative talent all over the world direct access to the LEGO creative team to develop stories, shows, and more.
LEGO World Builder, designed in partnership with Tongal and powered by Tongal’s technology, connects a worldwide creator community to the LEGO Group, who can incubate ideas, collaborate, give feedback, and option or buy the rights to new concepts. Anyone over the age of 18 can join the open community and pitch their own stories, or team up and collaborate on story worlds with other fans, writers, animators and designers on the platform.
Texthelp | January 25, 2022
Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced the premium launch of OrbitNote, a web app that makes PDFs more accessible from right inside the document, including the ability to type, highlight, and leave voice memos on documents. OrbitNote will allow users to transform and interact with digital documents in a completely different way. Users will be able to create an accessible, dynamic, and collaborative space that works for everyone.
Today, Texthelp is also honoring International Day of Education, an international day of awareness to promote inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all. Texthelp is committed to helping users understand and be understood through the use of assistive technology tools and software.
This past year, Texthelp released data revealing that 90% of teachers had planned to use EdTech tools in the classroom this school year. With the rise in technology use, having access to tools that create an accessible experience for all users is highly valuable. Products like OrbitNote will promote collaboration, transparency, and communication among students and educators.
Key Benefits of OrbitNote:
Makes PDFs More Accessible and Actionable: OrbitNote ensures that students have access to the tools they need to succeed – such as text-to-speech, highlighting, and vocabulary support – across all class content. If a PDF is image-only or unreadable, OrbitNote has a built-in scanner that will find the text and read it aloud without having to leave the PDF.
Provides Multiple Ways to Demonstrate Knowledge and Give Feedback: OrbitNote allows students to express their understanding in multiple ways. Users can type or draw their thoughts on the page, or add shapes and images to their work. Users can also highlight the key points in a comprehension piece or when studying. In the classroom, both teachers and students can use their voices to share ideas and feedback.
Boosts Productivity, Connections, and Collaboration: Using OrbitNote allows for seamless student-teacher collaboration. For example, teachers are able to leave a quick voice note for students, providing feedback and identifying areas for improvement mid-project, rather than waiting for students to turn in the final piece. Students can use a range of tools to ask teachers for help and garner support before problems arise. Typical pen and paper projects can become digital spaces for working together, allowing collaboration between teachers and students, as well as group projects.
OrbitNote works with Google Classroom and Schoology. In the coming months, Texthelp will expand support for more LMSs like Canvas and Brightspace. OrbitNote is also compatible with Texthelp's Read&Write product, a literacy support tool, and EquatIO, a digital math tool. Users can try all of the features in OrbitNote for free for 30 days.
"We have seen education change drastically in the past two years. Many subjects and tasks that relied on pen and paper are now becoming digitized. I am excited for OrbitNote as it will help educators and students continue to collaborate in this new digital space. The tool will also be very helpful in regards to accessibility and eliminate barriers that often arise while using PDF files."
Martin McKay, CEO and Founder of Texthelp
Founded in 1996, the Texthelp Group is a global technology company. On a daily basis, it helps people all over the world to understand and to be understood. For the last three decades, it has led the way in creating innovative education and workplace technology. 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 literacy and accessibility software. With over 45 million users worldwide, the Texthelp suite of products includes Read&Write, EquatiO®, OrbitNote, WriQ®, Fluency Tutor®, ReachDeck®, and SpeechStream®. These tools work alongside existing platforms such as Microsoft Office and G-suite. This allows for its products to be quickly integrated into any classroom or workplace with ease. Texthelp is backed by Five Arrows, the private equity arm of Rothschild Group.