Microsoft is helping elementary students in India, the UK and the USA to learn how to read with its new version of Reading Coach, which is currently in public preview.
The artificial intelligence-powered platform is currently being tested by several hundred students, with the pilot’s largest group including 75 students in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in South California.
“They love it,” said Ana Ruiz, a fifth-grade teacher at Baldwin Academy, in a recent Microsoft blog post. “Every student can choose what they want it to be [in their stories]. I have students who read at a ninth-grade level, kids who need reading support and students in-between. Being able to pick a reading level is such a game changer.”
Reading Coach is one of the Learning Accelerators available via Microsoft Education that allows students to create their own stories using AI, with 15 main character options and seven locations to choose from. It then detects the words that students find challenging and guides them to independently say and practice them.
Microsoft technology is helping students to learn to read (image credit: Microsoft)
Teachers are able to view students’ metrics to track how they are progressing with the platform.
“This tool allows me to consistently, constantly assess their reading fluency – and move forward with instruction,” said Teresa Magpayo Castro, a technology teacher on special assignment in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School district. “I can’t move students forward if I don’t know where they are. And students’ abilities are constantly moving. How they did last week may not be how they’re doing now.”
Reading Coach shows the reading progress of each student (image credit: Microsoft)
Content in Reading Coach is currently only available in US English but other languages and dialects are coming soon, according to Microsoft.