New software helps target reading instruction to students’ unique abilities

The Reading Assistant Manager, a new network-based software program from literacy software company Soliloquy Learning, works with children individually at their own pace to improve their reading skills. With this new software, students in grades one to six will get more practice reading aloud through Soliloquy’s proprietary Speech Recognition/Reading Verification technology. The program listens to students as they read, providing intervention as needed, and then reports the results to the teacher. The company says its speech recognition is extremely accurate and can be matched only by human reading assistants and teachers. Included with the software is a set of earphones and a noise-reducing microphone. Each session starts with a microphone check to ensure that the microphone is picking up the student’s voice properly. When students finish reading a section, they can play back their voice recording to hear how they sound. The Reading Assistant Manager draws from the content of Soliloquy’s The Reading Assistant Version 3 library of CD-ROM programs, but also includes many reporting features for teachers and administrators that did not exist in any previous version of The Reading Assistant. It also enables students and teachers to log into any computer connected to their school’s network to access their work. The software is sold in packages for five to 50 users starting at $2,000. Current users of The Reading Assistant will receive a discount.

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