Demo Overview

The Fast ForWord science

The Fast ForWord suite of programs provides a language and literacy intervention that uses the principles of neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to rewire and improve—to target the root cause of slow academic progress in struggling students and English language learners. The software was developed by neuroscientists to quickly improve reading skills while concurrently developing memory, attention, processing and sequencing—the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively.

The Fast ForWord Language and Literacy series programs within this suite include a patented speech processing technology that enhances the speech sounds at early exercise levels, progressing to natural speech sounds at higher exercise levels. This technology includes two separate but equally important speech modification stages: duration extensions (slowing down the speech) and selective intensity increases (enhancing the intensity of the rapid transitional elements in the speech). Together, these technologies provide the auditory nervous system with an enhanced speech signal that allows the student to more effectively differentiate the rapid transitions in spoken language.

 

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Technical Guide Click Here

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Reading Matrix: to get a copy Please Click here

Foundations Manual: Please Click Here

About the new programs – Foundations I and II

This new and improved replacement for the Language v2 program includes the following enhancements:

  • Improved exercise introductions that provide learners with multiple levels of coaching and interventions, ensuring they understand the exercise activity and what’s expected.
  • Built-in coaching that helps learners stay motivated and progress more quickly. Learners now have more autonomy in getting themselves “unstuck” and back on track with automated interventions that provide just-in-time support.
  • Explicit instruction on language concepts, grammatical structures, and vocabulary, which are particularly helpful to English language learners, special education students, and younger learners.
  • Increased adaptivity within finely-tuned exercises creates a more personalized experience, enabling learners to fast-track through content they find easy and slow down when the content gets challenging. Greater gains can be achieved when each learner spends more time working in the zone that’s the correct level of difficulty for that learner.
  • New progress indicators that provide students with real-time feedback during their Fast ForWord sessions—from the initial dashboard showing their current status on today’s assignment to new “in-exercise” indicators like the progress feeder meter, completion status sign, and other fun celebrations.

Webinar: EFFECTS OF POVERTY ON SCHOOL SUCCESS

Introduction:

Join Dr. Martha Burns as she reviews the newest research and provides research on how the Fast ForWord intervention has been found to have a significant impact on academic achievement in children of poverty.

You Should Learn:

  • Several new studies have shown that students from families below the poverty line are at the greatest risk for academic failure.
  • Research reveals that low family income has a bigger impact on academics than ethnicity or English language proficiency

INDEX:

KEY POINTS
• Children raised in poverty are exposed to millions of fewer spoken words at home
• Income level negatively impacts cognitive functions
• There are links between family income and memory and attention
• Poverty is associated with chronic stress which can have a toxic effect on brain architecture
• Boys are more impacted than girls
• English language learners often have a triple jeopardy – language barrier to learning, history of poverty, learning disabilities
• Fast ForWord targets the skills that are impacted and can turn around some effects of poverty.

 

 

About the Presenter

Dr Martha Burns is an expert on how children learn and has written 3 books and over 100 articles. She is an associate professor on the Northwest university in the USA.

Overview

Title:  Effects of Poverty on School Success

Originally broadcast Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

There are several ways in which family income impacts children neurologically:

  1. Children raised in poverty are exposed to millions of fewer spoken words at home.

Human brain maturation is experience-dependent. One of the most important times for experience to mold the brain is from early childhood through the elementary school years. So, the less language a child is exposed to, the fewer opportunities the brain has to develop language skills.

In their groundbreaking research published in 1995, Betty Hart and Todd Risley demonstrated that by age 4, children born into low socio-economic families are exposed to 30 million fewer words than those born into high socio-economic families. This means that the brain of a child in poverty has had 30 million fewer opportunities to wire itself for language.

  1. Weaknesses in oral language can lead to significant reading gaps.

Linguistic impoverishment deprives a child of receiving the auditory neural stimulation required to establish distinct phoneme representations, build vocabulary, and develop age appropriate oral language skills. This gap widens as children progress through school. Longitudinal research has shown that even when children are equated in reading ability at age 5, by age 13, children who had low oral language development when they entered school are more than five years behind in reading compared to their peers with high oral language skills.

  1. A low income level can negatively impact cognitive functions.

Language function in the brain isn’t the only casualty of poverty. Many other cognitive skills are affected, too.

Kimberly Noble has been studying the effects of poverty on cognitive development and brain structure for over a decade. As early as 2005, with M. Frank Norman and Martha Farah, she published research on the relationship between socioeconomic status and specific cognitive functions. Her findings showed that children who come from homes of poverty have limitations in a range of cognitive skills, including long- and short-term (working) memory, visual and spatial skills, executive functions like self-control, and the ability to learn from reward.

  1. Family income is linked to memory and attention.

More recently, Noble and Elizabeth Sowell have found compelling links between family income and brain structure — especially affecting areas of the brain important for memory and attention, which are essential for learning. In a Nature Neuroscience article published March 30, 2015, they reported that among children from lower income families, small differences in income were associated with relatively large differences in brain surface area. In contrast, among children from higher-income families, similar income increments were associated with smaller differences in surface area. These relationships were most prominent in regions supporting language, reading, executive functions and spatial skills. This research implies that income relates most strongly to brain structure among the most disadvantaged children.

  1. Developmental differences in the brain have consequences for academic achievement.

Further, on July 20, 2015, a Reuters Health article reported on a new study suggesting that the effect of poverty on children’s brains may explain why poor students tend to score lower on standardized tests compared to wealthier students. Seth Pollak and his colleagues reported in JAMA Pediatrics that about 20% of the gap in test scores between poor children and middle-class children may be a result of maturational lags in the frontal and temporal lobes.

How educators can help reverse these effects

The new research begs the question, “Are children raised in poverty doomed to educational struggle, no matter how well we teach?” The answer, fortunately, is a resounding “No!”

Neuroscience has not only clarified the problems caused by poverty, but provides solutions as well. In a recently published report titled “Using Brain Science to Design Pathways Out of Poverty,” Beth Babcock argues that because those areas of the brain affected by the adverse experiences of poverty and trauma remain plastic well into adulthood, neuroscience research offers promise for methodologies that can improve brain development and function. In her report, Babcock advocates, in part, for the use of “computer games” designed to “improve memory, focus and attention, impulse control, organization, problem solving, and multi-tasking skills [that] are now widely available and beginning to create positive outcomes.”

Indeed, well-designed neuroscience-based technology can build the underlying capacities that are reduced in children of poverty. For example, the Fast ForWord program, which was designed by neuroscientists at UCSF and Rutgers and tested for over a decade in many school districts with high poverty rates, has been repeatedly shown to increase academic performance in districts with high poverty levels. The beginning levels of the program target attention, memory, processing and sequencing skills — core cognitive skills essential for learning. Later levels then add specific technological instruction in reading comprehension, spelling, phonological awareness, and decoding, while also building in components to continue to build attention and memory skills.

The path out of poverty

Poverty is toxic to the developing human brain and thereby endangers academic success. Education offers students the key to a path out of poverty — but only when their brains are ready to receive it.

Children who haven’t acquired sufficient foundational perceptual, cognitive or linguistic skills require explicit “catch-up” interventions in these areas before traditional classroom instruction and reading instruction can be effective. Neuroscience now offers not only an explanation of the problem but solutions that can change the brains of all students to enable learning.

 

The Birth of Neuroplasticity Interventions: A Twenty Year Perspective

Abstract

Fast ForWord® was the first, computer/Internet delivered, neuroplasticity-based training program ever developed to enhance neural performance. It grew out of over 25 years of basic and clinical research in two distinct scientific disciplines.


One utilized behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods to study individual differences in language development and the etiology of developmental language-based learning disabilities (including Specific Language Impairment, Autism and Dyslexia).

The other utilized neurophysiological and behavioral methods in animals to study neuroplasticity, that is, changes at the cellular level driven by behavioral training techniques.

This chapter reviews (1) how these two lines of research were integrated to form the scientific basis of Fast ForWord® and (2) the steps taken to translate and instantiate our collaborative laboratory research into clinical and classroom interventionsthat could be scaled up for broad distribution around the world, while remaining efficient, effective and enduring. In 1996, Scientific Learning Corporation (SLC) was co-founded by four research scientists (Paula Tallal, Michael Merzenich, William Jenkins and Steve Miller).

To date, nearly three million children in 55 countries have received Fast ForWord® interventions. On any given school day approximately 100,000 children log in to train on one of twelve Fast ForWord®Language, Literacy or Reading programs. More recently, Fast ForWord® language and reading programs are being used increasingly as an effective method for improving English as a second language (ESL), including success for ESL children whose first language is non-alphabetic.

Introduction

When we began our collaboration in 1993, the now rapidly growing fields of “cognitive neurotherapeutics” and “neuroeducation” did not exist, nor did the concept of using neuroplasticity-based training to improve “brain fitness”. The methods we developed, and subsequently were the basis of over 50 patents, were the first to use video gaming technologies with the explicit goal of improving human performance.

Research on Language Development and Disorders

The most basic unit of any language is the phoneme, the smallest unit of sound that can change the meaning of a word. For alphabetic languages, in order to learn how to read and become a proficient reader the child must become aware that words can be segmented into smaller units of sound (phonemes) and it is these sounds that the letters represent. This is referred to as phonological awareness. Phonemes are the basic building blocks for spoken language, as well as for alphabetic written languages.

Research on Neuroplasticity-Based Training

Neurophysiologists have mapped the features of the sensory world at the single cell level. This research has shown that within each sensory modality the features that represent the physical world come to be mapped at the cellular level in a highly organized fashion.

The Birth of Fast ForWord®: Translating Theory into Practice

Considering the amount of speech directed to the infant, it is easy to understand how important speech is in shaping the auditory cortex during critical periods of human development.

Designing Neuroplasticity-Based Training Games

For our first study we designed and developed a series of verbal training exercises ranging from speech discrimination to grammatical comprehension, disguised as “games”. Some of these games were implemented on computers, while trained professionals using tape-recorded stimuli presented others.

The First Laboratory Studies: Rutgers Summer Camps 1994–1995

Our initial laboratory studies were conducted with children who each met the criteria for language learning impairment (LLI). Two groups matched on age, IQ and language skills were quasi-randomly assigned to receive the same language intervention program.

Scaling Up: The “Neurotherapeutic Revolution”

  • Fast ForWord® Language v1
  • First Multi-site Clinical Field Trial (1996–1997)
It is one thing to obtain results in well-controlled studies in a research laboratory under the direct supervision of skilled research scientists. It is quite another to demonstrate that efficacy can be achieve in “real-world” clinics and classrooms where children most commonly receive intervention. Soon after founding Scientific Learning Corporation (SLC) our first goal was to convert the games used in our laboratory studies into a fully computerized training program (Fast ForWord® Language v1), and then to conduct large-scale field trials in clinical and educational settings to assess its “real-world” efficacy.

Independent Agency Evaluations of Fast ForWord®

Studies on the effectiveness of educational and/or clinical interventions are inherently difficult, in part because of the many skill sets and multidisciplinary collaborations required to conduct these studies in “real- world” clinics and school settings. Before introducing a new method, curriculum or product, schools have to answer a practical question: does the new approach leads to better outcomes for their students than whatever intervention strategies they currently have in place? In translating research from the laboratory to classrooms, we have found that most school administrators and curriculum directors are only willing to make important decisions for their school after they have conducted their own, internal, independent study.

Cognitive Neurotherapeutics: The Challenges of Translation

The biggest challenge we have faced along our journey to translate our laboratory research into real world settings has been negotiating the torturous path between the world of our scientific colleagues, as compared to the very different world of K-12 educators and clinicians who make the decisions about whether our products will be offered to the children who could benefit from them. Nowhere have these different worlds collided more directly than when it comes to assessing and reporting the efficacy of Fast ForWord® products.

To Learn more about The Birth of Neuroplasticity Interventions. Download the PDF Article (there is a publishers charge)  Click here

Testimonial By Maria Galathea introducing her first business

Hello I am Galathea. I am 12.

Do you want to hear about my first business? It was at a teen Camp. Apparently, there are lots of British people around here, but, I had just enough money to pay for a skiing camp. Come along with me to the Neuron English Summer camp if you want to learn about lots of fun things like starting your own business.

See you there!

 

Webinar: Leading with the Brain in Mind: Focus on Cognitive Capacity

Introduction:

The webinar is a mix of research and practical information that you can use in the classroom.
You should learn:

(1) The one cognitive tool that when tested at age 5 has a greater impact on student achievement than even IQ.
(2) Learn where to invest your time and money for your staff and students to achieve their goals.
(3) Learn how to upgrade the human brain and see some daily miracles.

What is Cognitive Capacity?

  • This is the sum of your concurrent mental actions that learn, process, understand, judge, recall, evaluate, calculate, reason, solve problems, reflect and make decisions.
  • Greater cognitive capacity is correlated with enhanced student learning and achievement

INDEX:

WEBINAR – Key Topics –

1:28        What is Leadership?

5:20       What are Leadership Effects?

6.06       What is Cognitive Capacity?

10.12     Leadership Tools that Support Greater Cognitive Capacity

11.56     One BIG Thing is System Collaborative Driver

16.44     2nd BIG Thing is Clear paths

42:12     3rd BIG Thing is Support

45:30     Question and Answers

HIGHLIGHTS

What is leadership?

  • Leadership has a higher vision. It fosters action as an energized, “no credit” effort that builds timeless capacity to manifest the vision.
  • Leadership Sees Farther than those with Only “Boots on the Ground”

What is the importance of Effect sizes in leadership? Leaders make a difference.

  • Leaders are explicit with teachers and students about what success looks like
  • Leaders get staff working together to know and evaluate their impact
  • Leaders who believe their major role is to evaluate their impact
  • They Foster environments that privileges high impact teaching and learning

What is Cognitive Capacity?

  • This is the sum of your concurrent mental actions that learn, process, understand, judge, recall, evaluate, calculate, reason, solve problems, reflect and make decisions.
  • Greater cognitive capacity is correlated with enhanced student learning and achievement.

Leadership Tools that Support Greater Cognitive Capacity

  • WHY (without it, we all slow or stop)
  • PATH (clarity is power)
  • SUPPORT (people, time & opportunity
  1. Begin with one thing. You want that which will bring everyone in your school together. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors MUST articulate clear reasons for WHY the task should be performed…and do this often.
  2. Ensure that every student can see and believe in a clear path for each to succeed. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors must design, construct and articulate a CLEAR PATH for how the student can succeed at school.
  3. All leaders, administrators, instructional coaches, teachers and tutors must provide the core SUPPORT to ensure the student succeeds (resources, time, people, opportunity, encouragement, etc.)

About the Speaker 

Dr Eric Jensen is a leader in brain based learning and author of several best selling books. Including “Poor students, Rich learning

Overview

Title: Leading with the Brain in Mind: Focus on Cognitive Capacity

Originally broadcast Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

5 Things Every Educator Should Know About Cognitive Capacity

1. Neuroplasticity (change) is an Intrinsic Property of the Brain

Is it true that ALL students can learn and get better? Isn’t that a massive, sweeping generalization?

Yes, it is a generalization, and yes, it is true. The human brain is genetically designed to respond to environmental input. That’s how you survive every day. And, that capacity is called neuroplasticity. The human brain is dynamic, not fixed. The brain is making new connections, adding new neurons, pruning away cells, changing its chemistry and even re-organizing itself every single day! That capacity is hard-wired. ALL students can learn.

2. Your Brain Follows Internal Rules for What and How to Learn

The brain does not get smarter through ALL types of input. Our brain gets exposed to millions of bits of sensory data every day. The sounds, images, touch and smell add up to a LOT of data.

Since there likely is some sort of limitation on storage, our brain cannot, biologically, afford to store everything. You would run out of space on your brain’s “hard drive.” So, to solve that problem, your brain has an internal “set of rules” that guide what is important, worth learning and saving.

3. The School Brain Needs Deliberate Practice.

The other kind learning that consistently boosts test scores (and is priceless later in life) is called mastery learning. To be a strong learner in school, you need to know more than the alphabet; you must know how to MASTER the alphabet by learning to make words, sentences, persuasive arguments and stories. You learn the definitions, learn to read and even to debate a new topic.

The skill is called deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is purposeful and focused with a clear goal.

Let’s say your goal is to improve your student’s reading scores. That’s a poor goal unless you become more specific.

4.  Most Teachers Don’t Do Deliberate Practice

In short, the practice of building content into their teaching and using a deliberate practice “protocol” is unlikely.

How many teachers on your staff consistently use deliberate practice? In short, if your staff is not using what works precisely for complex, in-depth learning, the only choice you have (aside from giving up on your students) is to automate the process.

5.  For Many, the Best Choice is Technology

But what if you wanted a program that was research-based, relevant and had a high probability of succeeding with your students in reading?

One reading program that I have shared with my live audiences and in my books for over 15 years is FastForward®

Evidence of Effectiveness – Deep Diving into MySciLEARN Reports


Deep Diving into MyScilearn Reports
Is about deep data and how we are applying Smart Technology to our products for you to understand your students’ progress better.
It is a practical session directed at educators who use Fast ForWord programs and a good overview for those of you who want to see the power of data analysis in teaching.

You should learn:

(1) The Key Indicators to monitor for student success.

(2) The identification of each student’s individual needs.

(3) How to save valuable time by automating the preparation and communication of reports!

What if you could reach every struggling reader at your school with exactly the skills they need at just the right time? What if these students started to improve quickly, were self-motivated, and worked more independently?
Learn how the new version of the evidence-based Fast ForWord reading intervention program will bring a dramatic difference to your students this year, and provide you with one option to meet the needs of multiple student subgroups.

Overview

Title: Training Webinar – Deep Diving into MySciLEARN Reports!

Originally broadcast Date:  Thursday, September 27, 2018

Duration: 1 hour

Speaker Bio

Tom Chapin

Professional Development Manager

Scientific Learning

Fast ForWord language and reading intervention allows educators, parents, and clinical providers to easily track a learner’s progress. MySciLEARN reports and Reading Progress Indicator assessments ensure every learner receives the appropriate guidance and support necessary to become a better reader and better student.

 

MySciLEARN Reports

 

MySciLEARN reports are online data analysis and reporting tools tha

[spacer t track individual learner, classroom, school, and district level performance.

  • Automatically analyzes individual and group learning progress, including diagnostic and prescriptive information, displayed in graphs and tables
  • Offers timely and specific intervention guidance, providing recommendations to maximize the impact of classroom reading instruction and the effectiveness of the Fast ForWord reading intervention program
  • Provides future forecasting with insights into the potential effects Fast ForWord can have on a school district’s performance in as little as 1 year.

Evidence Based Education

Fast ForWord language and reading intervention allows educators, parents, and clinical providers to easily track a learner’s progress. MySciLEARN reports and Reading Progress Indicator assessments ensure every learner receives the appropriate guidance and support necessary to become a better reader and better student.

 

Reading Progress Indicator (RPI)is an online assessment that rapidly measures the effects of the Fast ForWord family of products by evaluating reading performance as students progress from product to product.

RPI Combines with MyScilearn to Provide Valuable Information for Teachers on Each Student

Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) assessments correlate to international recognised normed assessments and help indicate how learners are responding to Fast ForWord.

Quickly assesses four key skill areas: phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Automatically scores assessment and report results for parents, teachers, and administrators.

Provides accurate progress information that correlates to nationally recognised normed assessments.

Automatically generates assessment reports for individuals, groups and schools.

Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) was developed by Scientific Learning and Bookette Software Company (now Pearson plc).

Established psychometric procedures were used to produce a test that is valid, reliable, and unbiased, and to generate nationally-representative norms.

See the results of 23 validation studies
Click here

Reading Progress Indicator provides four assessment levels based on the grade entered for the student:

K-1,
K 2-3,
K 4-6, and
K 7-13+

(Pre-Kindergarten students are not eligible for the assessments).
The assessments are not timed.

 

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