Image with a young boy practicing reading from an iPad and text that says, "Can Speech Recognition Help Children Learn to Read?"

Back in 2011, a seminal paper by the Sesame Workshop and Joan Ganz Cooney Center asserted that speech recognition technology was “up to the task” of helping kids learn to read. So why, you may wonder, did it take another 10 years for voice-powered learning tools to start appearing in US classrooms?

At SoapBox Labs, we get it. As the world’s leading experts in speech recognition for kids, we understand that before education companies could put their trust — and commercial heft — behind speech recognition, it still had a lot to prove. It had to show, for example, that it could keep pace with how quickly kids’ voices, language, and behavior change as they grow, and that it could assess kids equitably, by understanding all of their voices, regardless of accent and dialect.

It may have taken until 2021 for speech recognition to become a technology worthy of the classroom, but as Margery Mayer says in the foreword to our new white paper, its adoption “could not have come at a more crucial moment” and will have “a profound impact on the trajectory of young learners.” 

SoapBox empowers kids to use their most natural of gifts — their voices — to engage with and learn from the world around them. Our new white paper offers insights from many of the world’s preeminent thinkers in education about how voice-powered math, literacy, and language tools can help kids to learn and teachers to provide more personalized approaches to their students on their individual learning journeys.

You can download the white paper here.

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