Pressrelease – 02/05/2020
Ed Tech Tool Lexplore Launches Free Online Course to Help Schools with ‘Shifting to Phonics’
By Janine Walker Caffrey, CEO of Lexplore Inc.
VERONA, N.J. – In response to a national movement to change how schools teach students to read, education technology company Lexplore is launching a free online course to help schools more effectively incorporate phonics into literacy instruction.
“Shifting to Phonics” features two tracks – one for administrators and reading coaches and one for teachers – that outline easy steps to ensure all students have a solid grounding in how letters form words before they move on to mastering language comprehension and reading fluency.
This approach is based on what decades of brain science says about how people learn to read most effectively. It also is key to helping the U.S. increase the number of students reading at grade level, which has declined to about 35% for fourth- and eighth-graders, according to the National Assessment for Educational Progress, or the Nation’s Report Card.
“Using phonics to plug holes in reading skills, rather than form a strong base, is leading to generations of struggling readers and exacerbating the gap between students from low-income households and their more affluent peers,” said longtime educator and Lexplore Inc. CEO Janine Walker Caffrey. “Our course will help schools understand reading science and how to improve literacy instruction for all types of learners. And it will show how tools like ours can help teachers identify struggling readers earlier and provide recommendations for how to help students who are behind.”
The video series was created by Lexplore, an education technology company that started in Sweden and uses eye tracking and artificial intelligence to help teachers work with students to improve their literacy skills. With Lexplore, teachers can determine – in just 3 minutes – a student’s reading level, and then receive targeted recommendations for ways to help the student improve, taking the guesswork out of student performance data for teachers and parents.
The multi-episode course is available for free online. The short videos cover a range of simple strategies for restructuring an elementary reading program – including the history of teaching literacy, tips for identifying high-quality phonics instructional materials and checklists for school administrators and teachers.
“As a reading teacher, I have struggled to find high-quality classroom materials based on reading science, even if they are labeled as phonics-based,” said Janet Pedrazzi, a kindergarten teacher in East Orange, New Jersey. “This course will help teachers and administrators know exactly how to identify the right materials and know the steps to take to ensure every student gets a strong start in their reading development.”
Lexplore is an innovative rapid reading assessment powered by eye tracking and artificial intelligence. In just 3 minutes, educators get a clear view of a student’s reading level and recommendations for how to help them improve. Lexplore, founded in Sweden in 2016, is used by schools, tutors and therapists in the United States and around the world to help create the next generation of strong readers.