Texthelp’s literacy and language support toolbar is now available on CommonLit’s free educational content platform
October 10, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, CommonLit, the free online platform for 5th-12th grade literacy, launched a new integrated toolbar, that will make complex text more accessible to all types of readers/learners including those struggling with literacy. The toolbar, which offers text-to-speech and translation support, is made possible through a partnership with Texthelp, a company that creates literacy and language support software. The toolbar will be available to CommonLit users for free.
Texthelp’s software toolbar will enable teachers and students to:
- Listen to text read aloud;
- Translate selected text into different languages;
- View word definitions with a single click;
- Highlight digital text.
CommonLit’s digital library contains over 450 lessons that include authentic published works from National Public Radio, Science News for Students, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Digital Public Library of America, and more. Each lesson includes a standards-aligned question set, a discussion guide, linked to related multimedia, and a guide to engage parents and promote literacy development at home. Today, CommonLit is being used in over 12,000 schools across the United States.
As part of this exciting new partnership, Texthelp is also providing reading fluency support via the CommonLit platform for struggling readers and English Language Learners (ELL) through their Fluency Tutor for Google tool, which can also be used with any of the OER content. More information on how to get started on Fluency Tutor is available on CommonLit’s website.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer Texthelp’s advanced technology to the hundreds of thousands of students we serve,” said CommonLit’s founder, Michelle Brown. “This toolbar makes CommonLit text fully interactive. It’s a game-changer for teachers who are trying to support struggling readers and English Language Learners in class.”
Rob Fleisher, CommonLit’s Director of School Support, used Texthelp’s Read&Write browser extension when he taught 7th grade English. “These tools are a way for students with disabilities to be on a level playing field with students that don’t have disabilities. Through this partnership, we are able to bring Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to scale.”
Mark McCusker, CEO of Texthelp: “As Open Education Resources become more prominent in the education content space, we recognize the importance of content accessibility for both students and educators at any stage of the learning journey. Encouraging students of all kinds of learning abilities is key, not only nourishing their comprehension of texts, but also developing their reading fluency. We’re delighted to partner with CommonLit as they continue to grow and offer more OER resources.”
Founded as a nonprofit, CommonLit’s mission is to help students make measurable gains in reading and writing. For more information and to explore the site’s new accessibility features, visit www.CommonLit.org.