Throughout the pandemic, Microsoft has been working proactively in order to ensure that the education of students is not affected and that learning opportunities are maximized. This has ranged from providing certification exam vouchers to optimizing Microsoft Teams as the go-to platform for all respective educational purposes.
Once again, Microsoft has taken another step to make online education more immersive by introducing ‘Reading Progress’ which has been designed for students to improve their reading fluency. Through Reading Progress, teachers can assess their student’s fluency in reading when they are reading and even allows them to determine accuracy rates, mispronunciation, and more.
Though this feature is handier for primary schools it does help teachers determine and measure factors such as speed, accuracy, and expression of reading. In regards to this feature, Mike Tholfsen a Product Manager for Microsoft Education stated the following in a recent interview with The Verge:
“With the pandemic, if you think about reading fluency, it gets really difficult … because you can’t be next to students. You might be able to set up Teams calls or Zoom calls, but the vast majority of teachers aren’t doing that.”
It is quite clear that education on a primary level has been adversely affected in Pakistan as the online environment is not equivalent to the usual physical environment. At the current moment, Microsoft has been testing the alpha version with more than 350 teachers and will soon be rolled out for free. This feature is powered by Azure on the backed which allows a teacher to adjust its sensitivity in order to measure students with speech disorders.