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Software Helps Children to Read

Techstination feature for Monday, December 28, 1998

Using the latest speech recognition technology to help children read. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Edmark is out with a new edition in its Let's Go Read series. This one is called An Ocean Adventure. Edmark's Donna Stanger...

"We have incorporated the first use of speech recognition for children. There's a lot of speech recognition around. IBM's product is ViaVoice. There are others. But this is the first that works with children. And it's because there was a federal grant to the Philadelphia public schools in which IBM synthesized hundreds and hundreds of children's voices and built some children's models. And this works very well with young children. The reason we wanted to use it educationally was to increase the engagement, so that the child is not just sitting there watching something happen, but they're talking to the computer. The computer is listening and responding actually to what they speak."

(sound) Stanger says parents are amazed, but not the kids...

"They, of course, expect a computer to do that. They've been seeing computers listen to people and respond in movies for years. So, they're not as amazed at it. They're just engaged by it."

The Let's Go Read programs are designed for grades K through 2. You can find more information at