Meet Amira – an intelligent reading assistant for young learners. Based on over 20 years of research from universities like Carnegie Mellon University, Amira is a major stepping stone regarding the integration of AI into education.
How does it work?
Amira first administers an initial assessment of the student’s ability (taking a maximum of 10 minutes), noting how well a student can read out words and stitch them to form sentences. From there, Amira gauges the student’s comprehension levels and size of vocabulary bank, allowing teachers to use this to better understand individual's needs and provide personalized learning. It can also detect dyslexia with 90%+ accuracy, in order to tailor its teaching to those with disabilities.
Furthermore, Amira will listen to students while they read and provide immediate feedback, pinpointing areas of strength and improvement. This includes the number of correct words per minute. Moreover, the app can suggest stories surrounding a child’s interests or even let children put their personal reading preferences in.
Amira has been employed in various schools, including Brewbaker Primary School (BPS). Since November of 2020, BPS has used Amira to bolster the foundational reading skills of over 300 English learners. BPS has expressed great approval of Amira, as it has doubled the number of words second-grade students can read accurately in a minute. Additionally, Amira has helped kindergarteners read aloud a year earlier than predicted!
Beyond this, Amira has helped to alleviate the anxiety caused among BPS teachers due to COVID-19, through its potential to gather reliable data on a student’s skill level in a simple manner. Amira has also led to major time savings (specifically 30 extra minutes each week), so teachers can use this time to support students who need it more.
As Amira is constantly being introduced to more and more schools, it is expected to be of great help to a diverse student population, whether it be those with special needs or those who have distinct accents. Due to the wonders of AI, Amira is sure to adapt and become a better tool in the future.
Written by Amanda Y