Texthelp Launches OrbitNote, Lending a Voice to PDF Files

Texthelp, a provider of literacy and accessibility technology, has launched OrbitNote, a web app that makes PDFs more accessible for students from inside the document, including the ability to type, highlight, and leave voice memos on documents.

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.

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.

Teachers can leave quick voice notes for students, providing feedback and identifying areas for improvement mid-project, rather than waiting for students to turn in the final piece.

OrbitNote works with Google Classroom and Schoology. In the coming months, Texthelp will expand support for more learning management systems like Canvas and Brightspace. OrbitNote is also compatible with Texthelp's Read&Write product, a literacy support tool, and EquatIO, a digital math tool.

"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," said Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp, in a statement. "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."

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