Amplify Launches Text Reading Online

Amplify, a publisher of next-generation curriculum and assessment programs, has released Text Reading Online,  a voice-enabled reading assessment for grades 1–6.

Created with SoapBox Labs, which develops voice technology for children, this literacy assessment uses adaptive speech recognition technology to help educators identify and address reading challenges. It enables remote evaluation of oral reading fluency, accuracy, and comprehension, all considered critical indicators of reading development for young readers.

"Given the realities of teaching and learning in a pandemic, educators are seeking approaches to assessing a child's independent reading when they cannot be together in person," said Larry Berger, CEO of Amplify, in a statement. "We are pleased to offer Text Reading Online as a part of the overall mCLASS literacy suite to help educators assess their students' reading development remotely, including the accurate identification of learning loss and how best to address it, this year."

To perform the assessment, students read two texts aloud: the first text is at the student's grade level, the second is adapted based on the student's performance on the initial text. Students then answer a set of text-dependent comprehension questions to evaluate their degree of understanding. Data from the assessment, including reading rate and specific error types, provides educators with near real-time feedback, which they can use to identify areas of focus and cater lessons to each child's needs.

"This is about making educators' lives just a little bit easier by providing them with tech-enabled tools that allow them to engage in accurate and private literacy assessment for all their students," said SoapBox Labs CEO Dr. Patricia Scanlon in a statement. "But the implications are even more far-reaching. The moment for voice tech in learning has arrived, and we view our work as essential in the development of a more inclusive, equitable education future."

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