A new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is in town, with the ability to detect literacy levels in under two minutes, by tracking a child’s eye movement while they read.
As a tech geek, I’m often asked about whether or not robots can replace teachers. The answer, of course, is a resounding no. Yet, there are an increasing number of digital solutions available to support students, parents, and teachers in the learning journey. We are most excited about Lexplore, an AI-based reading assessment and intervention platform our team found at BETT, London.
Reading, as we know, is fundamental to success in school. However, given the complexity of assessing reading, some reading difficulties go undiagnosed and unsupported. Allow me to share an example. During the holy month of Ramadan, I hosted a ladies Iftar at my house for a group of close friends. The group came from all over the world – Jordan, Spain, Morocco, the UAE, Singapore, and the United States. As most of us have children, the conversation quickly turned to education.
One mother, however, mentioned that her daughter had just been diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 17. She was distraught, not that her daughter had dyslexia, but that it had taken so long for the diagnosis. Another guest told us that her personal diagnosis of dyslexia radically changed her life for the better when she was 12, because she was able to receive proper support.
With a background as a literacy coach and reading specialist, I have spent countless hours assessing children’s reading and training teachers in reading assessment so that all children are able to grow as readers and thrive in school. Lexplore makes understanding a child’s reading process and needs more accessible than ever. Drawing upon 30 years of research from the Karolinska Institute, Lexplore provides a two-minute reading assessment that accurately provides a child’s reading level, suggestions for support, and can help schools know which children require further assessment for reading difficulties such as dyslexia. This would have been a game changer for the mother and guest at my Iftar.
An increasing number of schools in this region will be using Lexplore from September. The team in Sweden is hoping to release a Beta version of Lexplore in Arabic by the next school year, which has our team very excited.
If you sense something is not quite right with your child’s reading, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s teacher. Some children will come to reading quite naturally, while others will need more intervention. It’s most important to seek intervention early.
Christine Nasserghodsi is a co-founder of Mirai, a strategic innovation consultancy, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also mom to two lively boys, two rescues dogs, and two stray cats.