Tech Update

New in Microsoft Teams:
Reading Progress


Citing a recent study from Stanford illustrating the flattened growth of Oral Reading Fluency during the pandemic, Microsoft announced the launch of Reading Progress, a resource to help build opportunities for students and educators to get back on track with reading development.

Reading Progress in Teams supports students in building fluency through independent reading practice, educator review, and educator insights. Educators can upload a single reading fluency assignment or differentiate for their class’s many levels. Students read their passages out loud, creating an audio/video recording teachers can access and review at their convenience. Traditionally, tracking students’ fluency is irregular and time-consuming because it requires one on one close listening, while somehow still managing the remainder of the class. Creating recordings allows educators to check students’ progress more regularly while also freeing up time for active instruction. By empowering students to complete their reading fluency assignments regularly and independently, Reading Progress keeps the focus on practice and growth, not performing under pressure. Now reading fluency practice can happen anywhere!


Important for Personalized Reading Format Solutions

The described technology has obvious benefits for teachers and students. Students can use it to practice and develop their reading skills. Teachers can use the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to aid in assessment processes.

Microsoft's Reading Resource with Immersive Reader

Click to enlarge

Supporting student’s need for text formats that can improve readability and their individual reading outcomes, Microsoft has integrated their Immersive Reader text modifications into the new product. Students can change text size, font, add character spacing, or change the background/foreground color.

Readability Matters is excited to see NLP technology applied to student reading assessment. NLP has far-reaching potential uses, including the potential to aid in testing for an individual students’ best reading format. Perhaps Microsoft will add this in the future… Be sure to ask them to!