Scottsdale, Ariz. APRIL 19, 2022 – Imagine Learning, whose literacy solutions are used by millions of students across the U.S., today announced a new partnership with SoapBox Labs, the Dublin-based speech recognition company that powers joyful learning and play experiences for kids. Beginning this summer, Imagine Learning’s Language & Literacy program will include Fluent Reader+, a new tool powered by SoapBox’s voice technology, giving educators a seamless, scalable and more accurate approach to assessments of students’ reading and language learning progress.
Voice-enabled tools save educators time by replacing the cumbersome, manual assessment of students’ reading and language acquisition with an approach that is reliable, accurate, and automated. The feedback loop created by the SoapBox voice engine also makes it easier to monitor progress, giving teachers more frequent and better insights into where students need support on their literacy and language journey.
“We’ve long imagined the possibility of speech recognition technology to help teachers make the most of their time in the classroom,” said Jeff Pendleton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Supplemental and Intervention at Imagine Learning. “But most speech engines have been designed primarily for adults and don’t work well for kids. The results of our pilot with SoapBox’s voice engine show that it not only works accurately for children, but also for a diversity of accents, dialects, and learning abilities. This is exciting for us and for educators everywhere.”
Imagine Language & Literacy is an award-winning adaptive learning program that accelerates literacy and English language development for students in grades PreK–6. More than 20,000 educators log in to the program daily and 65% of student users are emergent bilinguals. In a three-month pilot with 15,000 students from diverse backgrounds using SoapBox’s voice technology, Imagine Language & Literacy’s Fluent Reader+ was able to score oral reading fluency and language artifacts with a level of accuracy comparable to that of experienced educators in the classroom. Moreover, teachers in the pilot accessed the oral scoring tool 165 percent more often than their peers, reflecting their feedback that automation resulted in them using the tool more frequently and with more students.
“At SoapBox Labs, we pride ourselves on building speech recognition technology for kids that is accurate, inclusive, and fair. We are delighted to have been selected by Imagine Learning to service their user base of students, educators, and classrooms across the US,” said Martyn Farrows, CEO of SoapBox Labs. “This partnership is borne out of a focus on constant innovation and improvement, and we are excited about the opportunities for working together in the future.”
About SoapBox Labs
SoapBox Labs makes kids’ unique voices heard in the digital world. Our speech technology is proprietary and built from the ground up to empower children grades PreK-12 of every accent and stage of development to have joyful and immersive digital experiences. SoapBox powers voice-enabled learning and play experiences for third party clients in the education, gaming, media and entertainment industries.
SoapBox is a privacy-first company and offers full transparency with respect to the processing and storage of voice data in full compliance with US COPPA and EU GDPR legislation. Voice data is never shared outside the company, sold to third parties or used for marketing or advertising purposes.
About Imagine Learning
Imagine Learning is a PreK–12 digital learning solutions company that ignites learning breakthroughs by designing forward-thinking solutions at the intersection of people, curricula, and technology to drive student growth. Imagine Learning serves more than 10 million students and partners with more than half the school districts nationwide. Imagine Learning’s flagship products include Imagine Edgenuity®, online courseware and virtual school services solutions; supplemental and intervention solutions for literacy, language, mathematics, robotics, and coding; and high-quality, digital-first core curriculum, including Illustrative Mathematics®, EL Education®, and Odell Education®—all on the Imagine Learning Classroom—and Twig Science®. Read more about Imagine Learning’s digital solutions at imaginelearning.com.