Singing A New Tune: Technology Boosts Student Reading Comprehension

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New “Tune In to Reading” Technology Raises Literacy Levels In Recent Study

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A computer software technology that started out as a popular learn-to-sing tool is now creating great new harmony in other areas of education. The technological concept behind Electronic Learning Products’ SingingCoach(tm) software is now showing remarkable promise as a literacy-training tool. ELP’s new “Tune In(tm) to Reading” program uses that original learn-to-sign technology from SingingCoach and applies it to reading – allowing students to improve reading skills significantly, essentially while singing songs on the computer.

Based on two years of research, the Tune In to Reading singing software program helps students improve in all five areas of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Electronic Learning Products (ELP) is a software platform company that uses its real time pitch tracking and speech recognition technology to create products for an increasing wide range of educational purposes.

The program is being launched this month at two educational tradeshows:

  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Conference – 3/15-3/19/2006
  • The Florida Educational Technology Conference – 3/22-3/24/2006

    The First Note: SingingCoach

    Since 2001, the SingingCoach software has allowed anyone to become a better singer simply by using his or her personal computer. The program comes with 20 singing lessons and a high-fidelity headset with a built-in microphone. SingingCoach uses a patent-pending vocal range analyzer that tracks and displays the pitch of the singer, comparing it to the correct pitch of the chosen song.

    The software’s pitch tracking line gives real-time feedback on singers’ performances as they sing. This allows them to see and hear, note for note, exactly where their pitch, rhythm and tempo need to be corrected. At the end of each song performance the software calculates and displays a score from 1 to 100, giving users an immediate report on vocal progress.

    For more SingingCoach product information go to: www.carryatune.com

    The Next Verse: “Tune In to Reading”

    Two years ago, the University of South Florida (USF) expressed interest in the SingingCoach product line and began a pilot study to determine if SingingCoach could help struggling middle-schoolers improve their reading.

    The results showed that the product improved student’s reading level by ONE FULL YEAR after having used SingingCoach for just nine weeks. That led ELP to the development of the new literacy product “Tune In to Reading”, an intervention program designed to address the components of reading.

    Much like the SingingCoach, the Tune into Reading program uses a micro-phoned headset linked to any home or school computer. It is a computer program that leverages the relevant technology from SingingCoach and adds automated on-screen reading assessment, advanced speech recognition for fluency, and corrective feedback down to the specific letter and phoneme being mispronounced.

    After the initial study, the Florida Department of Education sponsored a wide-scale replication of the USF pilot study across 500 students in the state. The results, yet to be made public as yet, report similarly remarkable results at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Designed with teachers in mind, lesson plans can be created for a student with an individual need or for the entire class. ELP has even implemented professional grant writing services to help school districts implement Tune In to Reading at no cost.

    A complete abstract detailing the Tune In to Reading program, from birth to its bright future is available upon request or by going to: http://www.elpcorp.com/ReadingabstractUSF.pdf

    For more information go to: http://www.elpcorp.com/literacy.html or call Electronic Learning Products: (813) 886-1955

  • Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.