Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

450,000 Students in 25 States Are Improving Reading Skills Using Software Built on Research of Rutgers-Newark Scientist

19.04.2005


About 450,000 children spread among 2,700 public school districts in 25 states all have something in common: They’ve used educational Fast ForWord software products developed from research that began in the lab of Rutgers-Newark professor of neuroscience Paula Tallal.



Working at Rutgers-Newark’s Center for Molecular and Biological Neuroscience, she has brought a neuroscientist’s perspective to the concept of learning, convinced that developing brains are much more plastic than has been generally believed by educators. Independent tests at Stanford University have demonstrated that developmental skills in language and reading can be dramatically improved through the intensive use of these six- to eight-week programs involving computer-based suites of exercises.

And educators have responded.


Currently, public school districts in areas ranging from Juneau, Alaska, to Palm Beach, from St. Louis to Connecticut, and from Milwaukee to New York City are all employing Fast ForWord software as a daily 50- or 90-minute part of their curriculum. There are various Fast ForWord products that address language and reading from pre-school though high school. Additional studies in the PALS program (Program in American Language Studies) at Rutgers are currently underway to assess the potential of using Fast ForWord with adults engaged in learning English as a second language.

Perhaps the most impressive success story has been in Philadelphia, the seventh-largest school district in the United States, with more than 214,000 students in 276 schools. The Fast ForWord line of products has been licensed for use in 235 schools there. A recent study of Fast ForWord conducted by Philadelphia school officials showed students who used the program made significantly greater reading gains than those who had not.

“This study supports our decision to expand the use of Fast ForWord,” says Paul Vallas, CEO of the School District of Philadelphia, “and we are looking forward to continued success as more students are able to take advantage of the products.”

Tallal is actively involved in developing and expanding the line of Fast ForWord learning products as a member of the board of directors at the Oakland, Calif., company she co-founded, Scientific Learning Corporation.

“There’s no essential difference between children who are struggling with reading and children who are dyslexic other than perhaps in terms of severity,” Tallal observes.

Data from early testing that compared dyslexic children with children who had normal reading capabilities showed, via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans taken in real time, that the brains of the dyslexic children “rewired” themselves during the training, and areas that previously had been inert “lit up” as they were accessed. The brains of the dyslexic children more closely resembled the brains of the normal readers by the end of the program.

But Tallal saw much more far-reaching potential for Fast ForWord, convinced that non-dyslexic students could benefit as well. And the fMRI test results continue to intrigue more and more educators and public school systems across America.

For Tallal and her colleagues, the kudos just seem to keep coming. In addition to winning the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award, in 2004 the Congressional Black Caucus’s Education Braintrust awarded Scientific Learning an ET3 (Education Technology Think Tank) TEC (Technology to Empower Community) Champion Partnership Award. The award, which recognizes innovative public-private partnerships that empower communities, resulted from the company’s role in a project entitled “Building Brain Power and Developing Literacy via Fast ForWord,” which served 200 summer school students at several sites across New York City. Tallal also was recently invited to participate in the prestigious Presidential Symposium at the 2005 meeting of the Society of Neuroscience.

For further information, contact Paula Tallal at 619/543-0006 or tallal@axon.rutgers.edu.

Michael Sutton | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Switchable DNA mini-machines store information
26.06.2017 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>