The WGI Worldwide Company and GE have announced the launch of Lyra, a new app-based education platform that uses innovative advanced speech recognition and touchscreen analysis to teach reading and writing. It was co-developed by WGI and GE.
The app represents the start of WGI’s transition to a digital provider of literacy learning, and makes learning literacy skills more accessible for both adults and children. The app’s 26 modules are based on the evidence-based synthetic phonics approach to literacy and builds on the foundation of WGI’s six years of in-person education.
“We realised that while there will never be enough teachers, there are enough mobile devices, and they are already in the hands of people who can benefit from literacy training,” said Chance Wilson, WGI Chairman, CEO and founder. “We worked quickly to bring on new teachers and set up programmes in new communities; we wanted to do more given the urgent need.”
Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO of GE Global, is championing the partnership and says: “Looking at the impact this app has the potential to make around the world, GE is fully supportive of this effort. With so many people isolated and in need of developing new skills, Lyra can help meet a critical demand in underserved communities that have little or no access to literacy resources – a situation made even more dire in the wake of Covid-19.”
The Lyra app features an engaging space-themed interface end-user experience. The theme reflects the name of the app – Lyra, which is the brightest constellation in the night sky. The app teaches letters and words by presenting them on the screen, pronouncing them, and then inviting users to say the letters and words out loud. Powerful voice recognition technology then analyses the response. The app also uses the phone’s touchscreen to prompt learners to write the letters or words they are studying, then analyses the results to tell them whether or not the writing is correct.
WGI and GE are poised to continue their partnership by working on developing new versions of the app to provide literacy lessons in other languages. Currently, the app provides more than two years’ worth of English language literacy lessons and is designed for those who speak English, whether as a first language or as a foreign language, but can’t read or write it. It is available for download now on the Apple and Android app stores as Lyra by WGI.