SoapBox Labs signs an agreement with the American company Imagine Learning
Speech Recognition Society of Ireland SoapBox Laboratories has partnered with US-based Imagine Learning on a new tool that will help educators more easily assess students’ progress in literacy and language learning.
The Fluent Reader+ tool, which will use technology from SoapBox Labs, will be part of Imagine Learning’s Language and Literacy program starting this summer. The Dublin-based company’s voice engine gives teachers greater insight into student progress, highlighting where they may need additional support.
This follows a successful three-month pilot program using the technology, with 15,000 students participating. The pilot revealed that the Fluent Reader+ program achieved levels of accuracy comparable to experienced educators in the classroom. Pilot teachers also used the tool more frequently, with more students than their peers.
“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 supplements and interventions at Imagine Learning. “But most voice engines were designed primarily for adults and don’t work well for children. Our pilot’s results with SoapBox’s speech 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 around the world.
Imagine Learning’s language and literacy program is aimed at children between the ages of approximately four and 12, accelerating literacy and English language development. It is used daily by approximately 20,000 teachers. Overall, Imagine Learning’s products serve approximately 10 million students across the United States.
Using voice-powered tools can replace tedious manual assessments, saving teachers time.
Education has been a priority for SoapBox. Founded in 2013, the company uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to develop cloud-based voice recognition solutions for children.
“At SoapBox Labs, we pride ourselves on developing voice recognition technology for children that is accurate, inclusive, and fair. We are thrilled to have been selected by Imagine Learning to serve their user base of students, teachers and classrooms across the United States,” said Martyn Farrows, CEO of SoapBox Labs. “This partnership was born out of a constant drive for innovation and improvement, and we’re excited about the opportunities to work together in the future”.
SoapBox Labs technology is now used in a range of applications, from education to play, helping to screen children for dyslexia or helping teachers determine reading levels.
To date, the company has obtained nearly 50 global licenses with customers around the world.