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%)
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.
Connected Nation | September 27, 2022
Connected Nation (CN) today announced the launch of a Digital Literacy and Learning program in collaboration with AT&T. The program, which is part of AT&T's national digital literacy initiative to help narrow the Digital Divide, will offer in-person and virtual digital literacy training workshops in underserved areas across the country where training is needed most for the digital empowerment of residents. CN will partner with local community organizations in each area to host training workshops from September 2022 through March 2023. In addition, CN will lead virtual and in-person workshops for military families at its Digital Works office in Fort Campbell, Kentucky"Digital literacy has long been part of Connected Nation's mission ensuring that every person is able to use technology meaningfully is absolutely essential in today's digital economy, said Heather Gate, Executive Vice President of Digital Inclusion. This program provides us the opportunity to meet people where they are in their digital skills level, confidence with embracing technology, and interest in enhancing their skills as new technology adopters. There is no better way to do this than by collaborating with trusted partners to bring much-needed training to local communities across the country. We are excited to get started. To launch this program, CN staff is reaching out to communities that previously participated in the nonprofit's technology planning process and identified digital literacy as a need. "Offering a tangible skill like digital literacy training to communities that Connected Nation works with allows us to model closing the Digital Divide in a real way," said Pamela Waggoner, Broadband Solutions Manager.
The amount of federal and state funding earmarked for broadband initiatives continues to grow. More communities than ever have access to these funds, and can use them to bring programs like this one to their residents.
"In recent months, there has been a considerable emphasis and focus on the large investments being made by federal and state governments to support the buildout of very high-speed networks across our communities.We also need to prepare these communities with the tools and training necessary to take advantage of these capabilities to help improve their lives. This initiative will be a significant factor in addressing that need."
Dan Manning, CN Broadband Solutions Manager
About Connected Nation
Connected Nation celebrated 20 years of service in 2021. The national nonprofit's mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.
DevOps | August 25, 2022
DevOps Institute, a global learning community that empowers the people who power IT, today announced SKILup IT Learning, a unique subscription-based online educational destination. DevOps Institute empowers DevOps humans to advance career development and upskill for enterprise transformation by providing the resources, guidance, experts, and encouragement to learn. SKILup IT Learning by DevOps Institute is a self-directed learning platform focused entirely on DevOps and Digital Transformation. It is offered in three tiers:
SKILup IT Learning, paid subscription-based learning
SKILup IT Learning+, upgraded paid subscription-based learning including a growing portfolio of relevant certification preparation video training courses
Community Member, limited access as part of DevOps Institute's free community membership
"SKILup IT Learning is the IT professional's one-stop destination for continuous learning on topics relevant to DevOps and Digital Transformation,"The 2022 Upskilling IT Report findings clearly prove that upskilling IT resources and skills shortages are a major issue for organizations and individuals alike. SKILup IT Learning offers a unique solution to this huge challenge by making practical education from recognized thought leaders."
Jayne Groll, CEO at DevOps Institute.
A subscription to SKILup IT Learning empowers DevOps Humans, further advancing organizations as they navigate the rapid pace of enterprise transformation. SKILup IT Learning helps subscribers easily distill and navigate training and education around today's trending DevOps skills and topics.Since SKILup IT Learning focuses exclusively on the people, process and automation skills needed for digital transformation, subscribers will have access to broad and trending "essentials" knowledge, insight into improving culture, human skills and leadership that every practitioner at all levels needs. The top-level subscription also provides certification preparation training for DevOps Institute and other certification programs. SKILup IT Learning will also be underpinned by SKILup Discussions - an interactive chat platform with topic-specific channels to discuss, share, ask questions, and network with other SKILup IT Learning subscribers, industry thought leaders and community members. DevOps Institute offers SKILup IT Learning access to everyone including two levels of paid subscriptions and limited free access for DevOps Institute's community members.SKILup IT Learning (paid subscription) SKILup IT Learning subscribers have access to a growing catalog of cutting-edge educational content and training focused on relevant technical, process and human aspects related to DevOps. A SKILup IT Learning subscription provides a well-rounded learning platform built on multiple series including trending classes on essential DevOps-related topics, human aspects, books clubs and author training on their books. There will also be, "day in the life" videos, on-demand presentations and access to DevOps Institute's SKILbooks. A subscription to SKILup IT Learning also helps certified individuals earn credits toward the DevOps Institute Continuing Education Program. SKILup IT Learning+ (upgraded paid subscription) SKILup IT Learning+ takes the educational offerings further by including certification preparation video training for DevOps Institute's certifications and other certification programs. To start, SKILup IT Learning+ community members will be able to pursue DevOps Foundation, DevOps Engineering Foundation and DevSecOps Foundation certifications. Learn more about DevOps Institute certifications here www.devopsinstitute.com/certifications
Free Community Members
DevOps Institute Community members have access to limited free content specifically geared toward the DevOps professional by experts from across the tech space.
About DevOps Institute
DevOps Institute is a global learning community that empowers the people who power IT – helping you develop both the professional and personal expertise to make the most of DevOps in both your business and your career. Focused exclusively on all things DevOps and digital transformation, we offer IT professionals – at all levels – deep practical knowledge, a welcoming network of industry leaders, respected certification programs, and insider events.