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Scientific Learning To Buy Out Soliloquy

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Scientific Learning Corp. has announced that it will acquire Soliloquy Learning from JTT Holdings. Both Scientific Learning and Soliloquy provide technology solutions for education. The acquisition will cost SLC about $11 million and is expected to be completed this month. (A definitive agreement to acquire the company was reached in late December.)

Scientific Learning is the developer of Fast ForWord, a family of reading intervention tools targeted toward students who are characterized as struggling learners and designed to develop the required "neurocognitive skills" for reading and learning in general. Soliloquy is also a reading intervention developer. Its flagship Soliloquy Reading Assistant (SRA) provides a one to one, guided oral reading program that uses speech recognition technology to improve fluency and vocabulary. With SRA, students read e-books into a computer using a headset and microphone. The software, which incorporates speech recognition, listens to the students and corrects mistakes on the part of the readers and speaks the word. It also makes records of sessions for review by teachers later, and it provides definitions for individual words when requested by the student.

"The acquisition of the Reading Assistant product line will bring a significant opportunity for us to combine speech verification technology with reading and neuroscience research. This unique innovation effectively addresses the difficult issue of providing every student with rigorous and consistent fluency training," said Robert C. Bowen, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Scientific Learning, in a statement released by the company. "Scientific Learning has devoted more than a decade to bringing computer-based, neurological interventions to rapidly and permanently build brain processing efficiency to improve the academic achievement of struggling learners. Reading Assistant broadens our brain-based solutions and will give our growing direct sales organization increased access to the $3 billion mainstream reading market."

Soliloquy had sales of about $2.5 million in 2006. Scientific Learning said it expects to see sales of about $59 million to $62 million by the end of this year.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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