Utah Signs On for Technology-Based K-5 Reading Programs
The Utah State Board of Education has signed a five-year contract with Scientific Learning to deploy that company's Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant lines of technology-assisted reading programs.
Fast ForWord is a family of research-based, standards-aligned digital learning tools designed to develop cognitive skills to improve reading comprehension. It's targeted toward students who are characterized as struggling learners.
Reading Assistant is a line of intervention tools acquired by Scientific Learning when it purchased Soliloquy Learning earlier this year. It provides a one to one, guided oral reading program that uses speech recognition technology to improve fluency and vocabulary. With Reading Assistant, 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
Through the deal, all of Utah's schools will be able to purchase Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant software with state instructional materials funds. The deal specifically includes Fast ForWord Language, Fast ForWord Language to Reading, Fast ForWord Reading Prep, Fast ForWord Reading 1-5, and Reading Assistant with Curriculum Levels 1-5.
The agreement between Scientific Learning and Utah went into effect July 1 and will remain in effect for five years. Utah currently has 508 elementary schools.
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