Of these, one of the many tasks required of grade school teachers is to understand each student’s reading level, usually by a time-consuming and high-pressure one-on-one exam. Microsoft’s new Reading Progress application takes some of the load off the teacher’s shoulders, allowing children to do their readings at home and using natural language understanding to help uncover obstacles and progress.
The previous year threw most of the educational plans into disarray, and the reading level did not rise as it used to when children were in school. Companies such as Amira are emerging to fill the gap with AI-monitoring readings, and Microsoft aims to provide teachers with more tools on their behalf.
Reading Progress is an add-on for Microsoft teams that helps teachers manage reading tests in a more flexible way, allowing students to stumble into a command display and perform critical reading tasks such as stressed words and self-correction. Helps identify and track incidents.
Teachers take reading assignments for each students (or the whole class) to read, and children do so on their own time, such as doing more homework than taking a test. They record a video directly in the app, the audio of which is viewed by the analysis algorithm for common stumbles.
As you can see in the testimony of this video that 4 graders braille, it may be better for many children:
If a bright and confident child like Braille likes to do it this way (and is now studying two years ahead of his grade, good job Brielle!), Children who are having trouble reading due to dyslexia, or Worried about them? Pronunciation, or are just shy? Being able to talk to your camera only, by yourself in your home, can make for much better reading – and therefore more accurate assessment.
This is not meant to completely change the teacher, of course – it is a tool that allows overloaded teachers to prioritize and focus better and track things more objectively. It is similar to how Amira is not meant to replace person-reading groups – impossible during an epidemic – but offers a similarly helpful process to quickly fix common mistakes and encourage the reader.
Microsoft today published about half a dozen things related to Reading Progress. Here are its original story, an original summary, its product center, a rehearsal video, and citations supporting its approach. There is much more about this ubiquitous post about new education-related products soon or now.