ReadSpeaker Announces Text-to-Speech Integration and Certified Partnership with Moodle, the World’s Largest Learning Platform

ReadSpeaker, the most trusted, independent digital voice and text-to-speech provider for educational institutions and innovative brands worldwide today announced that it is now a Certified Integration Partner with the world’s largest learning platform,  Moodle. With this partnership, students can listen to content on the Moodle LMS anywhere, any time and on any device and they can select from hundreds of different voices in over 50 languages.  Tweet this news.

As of September 1, ReadSpeaker’s accessibility and engagement tools are fully integrated into Moodle LMS, expanding learning opportunities for more than 200 million learners. ReadSpeaker is the first text-to-speech provider to become a Certified Integration Partner with Moodle. 

“Text to speech is a great equalizer and force multiplier for online learning, opening new and exciting pathways for engagement and mastery for millions of students, not just those needing accommodations,” said Roy Lindemann, Chief Marketing Officer for ReadSpeaker. “This partnership is extremely significant to the institutions and students we both serve, including those needing accommodations and those who simply want added capabilities to engage with learning materials.” …Read More

Curriculum Associates Updates i-Ready Personalized Instruction and Assessment to Help Accelerate Student Learning for the 2022–2023 School Year

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. —To help accelerate teaching and learning this coming school year, Curriculum Associates has updated its award-winning i-Ready Personalized Instruction and Assessment program with new reports, lessons, accessibility features, and more. These new resources are designed specifically to help educators support grade-level work, monitor progress, and motivate every learner on their path to success.

i-Ready continues to be a standout in the edtech space, in part, because it is always improving to meet the changing needs of educators and students alike,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This coming year, accelerated learning will be a focus for schools nationwide and these new updates will provide educators with the timely resources and data-driven supports needed to help students make continued gains.”

To help inform school- and district-level administrators’ planning, i-Ready now features a new dashboard that displays real-time data of student growth and performance in a single view. Additionally, administrators now have more robust data with expanded 5-Level Placement reporting, a new Overall Reading Comprehension score on Diagnostic reports, and improved export data.…Read More

Capstone Interactive eBook Platform Relaunches With Enhanced Accessibility for Children

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – August 17, 2022 – Capstone, an innovative learning company merging children’s content with easy-to-use edtech tools for K-5 classrooms, libraries, and home, announces substantial enhancements to its Capstone Interactive eBooks platform. Among the improvements, the eBook platform and reader will be Section 508 compliant and WCAG 2.1 rated, ensuring Capstone Interactive is accessible to children with vision, cognitive, physical, and hearing disabilities.

Another significant update includes its integration within Capstone’s PebbleGo environment, the subscription-based content hub for cross-curricular instruction and research. Educators and students can easily discover and begin reading Capstone Interactive eBooks through a new “eBooks” tab as part of their subscription, reducing the need for keeping track of additional logins and website URLs. Educators can also easily share a direct link to an eBook, allowing students access with a single click.

The platform will also be mobile-responsive, improving student’s experience through intuitive touchscreen navigation and providing at-home and on-the-go access on smartphones, tablets, and computers to support school-to-home programs and independent learning.…Read More

How to ensure both security and accessibility in your district’s IT strategy

Keeping student and educator information safe and protected is a top priority, particularly now in the wake of skyrocketing cyberattacks. When it comes to fighting cyberattacks, schools need versatile solutions that update, adapt, and scale to support everyone, in and out of the classroom.

In an eSchool News webinar, cybersecurity and school district IT experts share tips on how to implement the Microsoft tools and systems to ensure your IT is safe, accessible, and easy to manage.

Experts dive into the following tips:…Read More

Benetech Inclusive AI Initiatives Break down Barriers to STEM

PALO ALTO, Calif. — June 17, 2022 —Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, today announced two significant AI initiatives to reduce barriers to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and employment for people with disabilities and learning and thinking differences. The programs, supported by General Motors (GM) and Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, are focused on leveraging AI to make complex visuals, graphs, and equations in science and math educational materials accessible to people with dyslexia, vision loss, and other reading barriers. This technology will be used to enhance the accessibility of STEM education materials for students with reading barriers and empower other education stakeholders, including teachers, publishers, researchers, and students themselves, to improve the accessibility of their own materials. 

“Betting early on people and organizations addressing big challenges is one of our core guiding principles,” said Kumar Garg, Vice President of Partnerships, at Schmidt Futures. “Math literacy is essential for a 21st century STEM education, the foundation to compete for jobs of the future. Benetech’s vision to make tools that can provide new pathways to make STEM education accessible will transform the livelihoods of millions of students.” 

Benetech brings two decades of expertise leveraging new technology to make reading and learning accessible for people with reading barriers, at scale, through its Bookshare initiative. However, transforming STEM education materials into accessible formats poses a significant challenge. Textbooks have complex formats, full of charts, graphs, and equations that must be manually transformed into accessible formats. The average Math textbook has over 5,000 equations, and it can take three to four months for a human to transform a print math book into accessible formats that can be properly read by a screen reader. This is a significant obstacle for students with reading barriers. …Read More

How to focus on classroom accessibility

The interruption of in-person learning environments due to COVID-19 impacted everyone, but it particularly challenged those with specific learning needs.

In fact, equity became one of the top issues as the pandemic spread across the globe. Educators in every building acknowledged the continuing need to create more equitable education environments.

Students deserve the resources and support they need to fully engage in learning, and when you design for inclusion, everyone benefits.…Read More

Creating more accessible classrooms in 3, 2, 1…

Equity became one of the top issues as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Educators in every building acknowledged the continuing need to create more equitable education environments.

The interruption of in-person learning environments has impacted everyone, but has particularly challenged those with specific learning needs. Students deserve the resources and support they need to fully engage in learning, and when you design for inclusion, everyone benefits.…Read More

Renaissance and Hillsborough County Celebrate 10 Years of Equitable Access to Thousands of Books

Bloomington, Minn. (Feb. 10, 2022) Renaissance, the global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is honored to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the community reading initiative Read on myON, a first-of-its-kind partnership between Renaissance and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Designed to promote equity and eliminate accessibility gaps in access to high quality books regardless of a student’s socioeconomic status or attendance in a particular school, Read on myON was made possible by an entire community of partners, including Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Head Start of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, and United Way Suncoast.

Over the 10 years of the Read on myON collaboration, hundreds of thousands of children from birth through 8th grade have had free access to the myON platform. Thirty-nine percent of the books children access through the program are opened for the first time outside of school hours, and books have been accessed over 71,718,216 times since the inception of the program in 2012, equating to over 336 million minutes spent reading.…Read More

Don Johnston Incorporated Joins Texthelp Group; Edtech Giants Join Forces to Help Students Across North America and the Globe

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced that they will acquire the Education Technology Division of  Don Johnston Inc., a leading assistive technology and special education curriculum company based outside of Chicago, IL. Don Johnston Inc. is the latest Assistive Technology provider to join the Texthelp Group. Following Five Arrows’ investment in December 2020, Texthelp acquired Lingit Group and Wizkids in 2021, expanding the company’s reach in the Nordics and the UK. Texthelp’s goal is to use its assistive technology to help 1 billion people with reading, writing, and numeracy by 2030. Together with Don Johnston Inc.’s leading SaaS-based products, the Texthelp Group will become the global leader in assistive technology tools for classrooms and workplaces. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

One in ten people have dyslexia, and in the US, 12% of students are in special education, 15% of children at school are learning their 2nd language, and the average reading age is 7th to 8th grade. Using assistive tools has been proven to help students overcome these barriers and harness their unique strengths. Both Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. have made it their mission to support equality and inclusion of all people, especially individuals with dyslexia and other learning needs. Together, Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will continue to offer their full suite of products, and customers will see the benefit of collaborative technology innovation between the companies within the first few weeks. Don Johnston Inc.’s curriculum division will form a new company, named Building Wings™, which includes the products Readtopia® and First Author®.

“Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. share a common vision of a world where every student can feel what it is like to learn and succeed,” said Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp. “Don and I founded our organizations for deeply personal reasons. We have an incredibly similar mission to elevate as many students as possible, helping them both understand and be understood. We are so excited to have Don Johnston Inc. join the Texthelp Group, and to have Don as an investor and board member. Our combined teams and expanded portfolio of products will allow us to give millions more students in the US and across the globe the best possible start in life and help them fulfill their full potential. Along with the Don Johnston team, we will continue to innovate and develop our suite of products to create the best assistive technology tools available.”…Read More