Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Link to Scientific Learning, developers of Fast ForWord.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools recently announced that it will be spending $300,000.00 on Fast ForWord software (from Scientific Learning) to support reading and related skills. According to an article in the Charlotte Observer:

"The program is an exercise in neuroscience disguised as a game. Kids see animated figures, for example, and must indicate whether a sound's frequency and pitch is getting higher or lower. Or they play a version of Memory that forces them to match sounds such as bit and pit.

The games slow the speech so kids can succeed initially. As they answer more questions correctly, the difficulty increases. If kids make mistakes, the computer tailors the games to improve weaknesses.

The repetition improves the brain. After eight to 12 weeks, students' reading abilities make an average of at least a year's progress, the software's maker says."

If you are a school psychologist, special educator, speech/language pathologist, reading specialist, teacher, or parent who is familiar with this program, feel free to comment about this on this blog!

I am particularly interested to learn if you are a graduate student doing research in schools using Fast ForWord. What do you think? How does this method compare with other methods?

(Note: I do not own Fast ForWord software- - and I'm not affiliated with Scientific Learning. )

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