The Science of Learning Blog

April 19, 2018

Fast ForWord Program Is Named a Finalist for Two EdTech Cool Tool Awards

BY Hallie Smith, MA CCC-SLP

Logo for the Edtech Awards Cool Tool Finalist 2018Fast ForWord® has been named a finalist for two Cool Tool Awards in The EdTech Awards 2018. Fast ForWord was recognized for the second year in a row as a finalist in the special needs solution category, and it was chosen as a finalist in the language learning solution category as well.

Now in its eighth year, the EdTech Awards recognize outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. The U.S.-based program is one of the largest and most competitive recognition programs in all of education technology, and finalists are selected from thousands of entries.

“Struggling readers’ brains don’t process sounds and words as quickly as typical learners, and English language learners’ (ELLs) brains are not prepared to process the sounds of English. The Fast ForWord program is designed to directly target these root causes of difficulty. It’s a different approach and that’s precisely why it’s so effective with so many students, including struggling readers, students with disabilities, and ELLs,” said Jeffrey D. Thomas, co-chief executive officer of Scientific Learning. “We’re honored to receive this national recognition for the Fast ForWord program and its unique approach to helping students get the help they need to catch up, once and for all.” 

Fast ForWord was developed by neuroscientists and uses a unique three-step approach to deliver fast gains to struggling students. First, it prepares the brain for reading by improving the foundational language and cognitive skills that are often weak in these students. Second, it provides personalized, intensive practice on a variety of language and reading skills — more than any other approach or intervention. Third, it uses speech verification technology to support and listen to students as they read aloud, like a guided reading coach. Once these areas are addressed, students’ language, reading, and all learning improve quickly, and changes continue even after they complete the program.

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