“Does the use of Learning Tools improve literacy outcomes, with both reading and writing for students?”

With daily challenges—and limited resources—educators need to be confident that they are able to optimize learning for a diverse population, as well as meet professional goals and standards.Leveling the Playing Field with Microsoft Learning Tools, written by Katherine McKnight PhD and published by the Center for Evaluation & Study of Educational Equity RTI International, analyzes how Learning Tools are a useful digital tool for supporting not only reading, but also writing and other skills for elementary, middle and high school students.

In this research paper, you will learn how:

  • Students across year levels seemed more motivated to revise their written work and create more drafts through using the “read aloud” feature of Learning Tools due to the multi-modal nature of the tool.
  • Students took ownership of their learning, became more independent, and gained confidence in being able to access the same content as their peers, even if it was being read to them by Learning Tools.
  • English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) benefited from hearing how words in English were pronounced, particularly multi-syllabic words and the pace of reading. Additionally, Learning Tools now supports 9 non-English languages.