Judith Bliss, CEOJudith Bliss, CEO of Mindplay recalls the story of Aiden, a second-grade student with dyslexia who faced severe difficulties learning to read and spell. Even though he was highly intelligent, he was not able to keep pace with his classmates. Mindplay, one of the leading educational software developers, was able to help Aiden learn to read. He was able to access the Mindplay Virtual Reading Coach from his classroom, as well as his home. After completing the first 10 hours, there was a profound increase in Aiden's reading skills, as well as his confidence levels. Judith says: “I was excited to view Aiden’s progress, as well as hear that Aiden’s elementary school is looking to pilot our program and that one of their assistant superintendents is looking at its broader application.”
With such numerous success stories, Mindplay has gained immense popularity among schools as well as parents across the country. Today, around 3000 schools in the US partner with the company to help students improve their reading. Parents are also accessing the program for their children in home-schooling environments. Mindplay’s Virtual Reading Coach, the flagship product of the company, uses computer-assisted instruction (CAI) to teach reading effectively to students of all ages and skill levels.
While describing Mindplay’s solution, Judith points out some of the major challenges that schools face today, such as a lack of qualified teachers and appropriate resources to ensure that all children learn to read. In addition, many teachers do not have sufficient training to teach students with dyslexia, the most common learning disorder.
As public attention has recently focused on the instructional needs of students with dyslexia, it has become imperative for schools to provide solutions to ensure that these students, approximately 8 to 10 percent of the school population, receive evidence-based interventions.
“Our web-based solution provides one-on-one instruction to students who face difficulties in reading by building an individualized prescriptive plan for each student,” explains Judith.
Our web-based solution provides one-on-one instructions to students who face difficulties in reading and accredits quick learning
The artificial intelligence that is built into the Virtual Reading Coach allows the program to provide targeted feedback to each student. In this way, each student receives exactly the type of instruction he or she needs. The program leads each student through an individualized, differentiated lesson progression, through an algorithmic, code-based analysis of errors. Based on the error analysis, each student is provided with targeted instruction that addresses specific misconceptions and gaps in foundational knowledge.
Additionally, Mindplay has also created teacher solutions designed to enhance teacher knowledge. One course, understanding Dyslexia, is a 3-hour online course for teachers and parents to provide a basic understanding of this reading disability. Their most recent course, Mindplay Comprehensive Reading Course for Educators, is a 30-35 hour online course that covers the major components of reading instruction: phonological awareness, phonics, reading fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Teachers can also receive graduate credit for taking this course through Castleton University in Vermont.
The Virtual Reading Coach can be accessed via the internet through computers and ipads. Looking ahead into to the future, the company strives to help teachers increase their knowledge about reading instruction and ensure that all students become better readers across the nation.