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Microsoft Makes its AI-powered Reading Coach Free

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by SPN Editor

Microsoft has unveiled its AI-powered Reading Coach tool, which offers personalized reading practice, free of charge to individuals with a Microsoft account. Currently available on the web in preview, a Windows app is in the works, and integration with learning management systems like Canva is expected in late spring.

Emphasizing the crucial role of reading in academic success, Microsoft states in a blog post, “With the latest AI technology, we have an opportunity to provide learners with personalized, engaging, and transformative reading experiences.” Reading Coach builds on the success of Reading Progress, a plug-in for the education-focused Microsoft Teams for Education. Launched in 2022, Reading Coach, along with Immersive Reader, Microsoft’s cross-platform assistive service, aims to enhance language and reading comprehension skills.

Reading Coach helps learners identify challenging words and provides tools for independent, personalized practice. Educators can monitor students’ progress, view words practiced, attempts made, and tools used. The recent addition of a “choose your own story” feature, powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, allows learners to create their narrative adventures. Moderated for quality, safety, and age appropriateness, this feature includes selecting characters, settings, and reading levels. Learners receive feedback on pronunciation, with badges unlocking new characters and scenes as they progress.

While Microsoft is optimistic about AI’s role in teaching reading comprehension, some educators express reservations, noting the lack of foolproof tools for measuring comprehension. Nevertheless, in an EdWeek Research Center survey, 44% of educators believed that adaptive tech does a better job of accurately assessing students’ reading levels than non-adaptive software or traditional methods. Despite varying perspectives, tools like Reading Coach are viewed positively, with the potential to motivate learners and facilitate personalized learning on a broader scale.

Reading Coach is a cool tool that helps you get better at reading in a fun way. It’s free if you have a Microsoft account. The tool uses smart technology to make your reading practice just right for you, and it’s safe to use.

Right now, you can try it out in US-English, and they’ll add more languages soon. The team behind Reading Coach really cares about making it better, and they want to hear from you to make it awesome.

How to Start with Reading Coach?

For Teachers and Students:

  • Ask your school’s tech people to turn on Reading Coach.
  • If it’s already on, go to the Learning Accelerators webpage to start practicing.
  • Teachers can also join the Reading Coach community for extra help.

For Parents:

  • Parents can start practicing on the Learning Accelerators webpage.
  • You’ll be invited to join the Reading Coach community when you sign up.

When you log in, you can choose to download the app on your computer or just use it online.

About Reading Coach:

Reading Coach has three cool ways to read:

  1. Create a Story: You get to make your own story by choosing characters, settings, and how hard you want it. It’s like having your own AI storyteller!
  2. Read from a Library: Pick stories from a library or use your own. You can even read out loud to practice.
  3. Add Your Own: Put in your own stories or words to practice reading.

The smart tool listens to how you read, figures out which words are tricky for you, and helps you practice them. After each practice, you get tools to practice more and feel confident. The Reading Coach is built on other good reading tools that teachers like.

The stories are checked to make sure they’re safe and fun. You get to decide what happens in the story, and if some words were tough in one part, they’ll show up again in the next part to help you learn. You also earn cool badges and unlock new characters and settings to keep you excited about reading. You can choose stories from a library or put in your own words, and the tool gives you feedback to help you get better at reading. It’s a fun way to practice and get good at reading!

What's your View?