Microsoft has recently made a significant contribution to AI in education by offering its AI-powered tool, Reading Coach, free of charge to all Microsoft account users. Originally a part of Microsoft Teams for Education, this tool aims to enhance reading skills by providing personalized reading exercises, according to a TechCrunch report.
Reading Coach assists learners in identifying words they find challenging and offers supportive tools like text-to-speech and picture dictionaries for individual practice. Teachers have the ability to monitor student progress, seeing which words they practiced, their attempts, and tool utilization.
An innovative addition to Reading Coach is the “choose your own story” feature. Powered by Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service, this feature engages learners in creating their own narrative adventures by selecting characters, settings, and reading levels. The AI then generates content tailored to these choices and the learner’s vocabulary needs. This content is moderated to ensure quality and appropriateness, as explained in a Microsoft Education Blog post.
While there’s some debate among educators about the efficacy of AI tools in measuring reading comprehension, the integration of AI in education, especially in tools like Reading Coach, is generally viewed positively. A survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center revealed that 44% of educators believe adaptive technology more accurately assesses a student’s reading level than traditional methods.
This advancement in AI for education signifies a notable step in blending technology with conventional teaching methodologies. It illustrates how AI can be effectively integrated into educational resources, offering a personalized and adaptive learning experience for students of various ages and abilities.