Reading Coach: Microsoft’s free AI app for reading improvement

Reading Coach: Microsoft’s free AI app for reading improvement

Microsoft has launched Reading Coach, an AI app that helps learners practice and improve their reading skills, as well as create their own AI-generated stories. The app, which was previously available only through Microsoft Teams, is now free and standalone for users.

How Reading Coach Works

Reading Coach is an app that provides personalized and interactive reading practice for learners of all ages and levels. Users can access it with a Microsoft account, either as a Windows application or a web app.

Reading Coach allows learners to choose characters and settings from a curated collection and then generates a unique story for them based on their choices. The AI ensures that the content is high-quality, safe, and age-appropriate, following Microsoft’s Responsible AI guidelines.

Learners can read the story aloud, and get instant feedback from the AI on their pronunciation and fluency. The app uses speech-to-text technology to analyze the learner’s reading performance and identify challenging words and areas for improvement. The app also records the learner’s accuracy, speed, and time spent reading.

Reading coach
Image Source: Microsoft

The app also adapts to the learner’s abilities and progress, by incorporating challenging words from previous chapters into the next one. This ensures that the learner is constantly challenged and improving.

Learners can also influence the story by choosing what happens in each chapter, making the reading experience more engaging and fun. They can also get coaching on challenging words after each chapter, reinforcing their learning and improvement.

Reading Coach also rewards learners with effort-focused badges and the unlocking of new characters and settings, to keep them motivated and interested, especially for those who are reluctant readers.

Reading Coach also provides insights for educators, who can use the app to monitor and understand the progress of their learners and tailor their teaching accordingly.

Reading Coach aims to provide a holistic and adaptive approach to reading improvement, by combining technology, personalization, and motivation, to create a positive and effective learning experience.

What else is new from Microsoft

Reading Coach is not the only AI update that Microsoft has announced for educators and students. The company has also introduced new and enhanced features in Microsoft Copilot and Loop, two of its AI-powered platforms.

Microsoft Copilot is an AI companion that helps users with information, questions, and conversations. Microsoft has expanded the availability of Copilot to more faculty and higher education students, by extending the eligibility to Office 365 A3 and A5 faculty customers and removing the 300-seat purchase minimum. Office 365 A3 and A5 are two of Microsoft’s education licensing tiers.

Microsoft Loop is an AI collaboration app that helps users create and share content. Microsoft has also made Loop available for Office 365 A3 and A5 plan holders. For Office 365 A1 holders, the cheaper education license tier, they will be able to use Loop until June 30, 2024, after which they will need to upgrade to A3 or A5 to access the full Loop suite.

Microsoft has also announced that Reading Coach will be integrated with popular learning management systems, such as Canvas, in late spring. This will enable educators to integrate the learning plans created by Reading Coach directly into their LMS.

Microsoft has also updated Microsoft Teams for Education and Microsoft Reflect with a new tool called Classwork, which helps educators organize and create content for students. The tool also uses AI to suggest content based on the subject and student age range.

Microsoft has also launched AI for Educators Learning Path on its Microsoft Learn online education platform. This is a course that teaches educators the benefits and use cases of AI technology in the classroom, and how they can use platforms like Copilot to enhance their teaching.

These initiatives show Microsoft’s efforts to rapidly evolve its offerings and stay ahead of its rivals, such as Amazon, Google, and Adobe, in the AI race.

Microsoft, which has gained 9.6% in the past six months, has outperformed the Zacks Computer & Technology sector’s rise of 6.3% but underperformed Amazon, Google, and Adobe. Amazon, Google, and Adobe have returned 15.6%, 15.9%, and 11.5%, respectively, in the same time frame.