Education platform to bring literacy to millions

Offered for free

10 September 2020 | Technology

The WGI Worldwide Company and GE co-developed and announced the launch of Lyra, a new app-based education platform that uses innovative advanced speech recognition and touch screen analysis to teach reading and writing.

According to the two companies, they are poised to continue their partnership by working on developing new versions of the app to provide literacy lessons in other languages.

The app represents the start of WGI’s transition to a digital provider of literacy learning and makes learning literacy skills more accessible for both adults and children.

The 26 modules of the app are based on the evidence-based synthetic phonics approach to literacy and build on the foundation of WGI’s six years of in-person education.

“We realised that while there will never be enough teachers, there are enough mobile devices, and they are already in the hands of people who can benefit from literacy training. We worked quickly to bring on new teachers and set up programs in new communities where we wanted to do more given the urgent need,” said Chance Wilson (20), WGI chairman, CEO and founder.

Illiteracy reigns

It is estimated that globally, more than 700 million people cannot read or write. This limits their ability to gain employment, improve their career prospects, or pursue higher education. It can also have a far-reaching impacts on mental health.

Lyra now offers a solution for all of them.

“Looking at the impact this app has the potential to make around the world, GE is fully supportive of this effort. With so many people isolated and in need of developing new skills, Lyra can help meet a critical demand in underserved communities that have little or no access to literacy resources – a situation made even more dire in the wake of Covid-19,” said Nabil Habayeb, president and CEO of GE Global.

The Lyra app features an engaging space-themed interface and user experience. The theme reflects the name of the app – Lyra, which is the brightest constellation in the night sky.

The app teaches letters and words by presenting them on the screen, pronouncing them, and then inviting users to say the letters and words out loud.

Powerful voice recognition technology then analyses the response.

The app also uses the phone’s touch screen to prompt learners to write the letters or words they are studying, then analyses the results to tell them whether or not the writing is correct.

Currently, the app provides more than two years’ worth of English language literacy lessons and is designed for those who speak English (as a first or a foreign language) but can’t read or write it.

It is available for download now on the Apple and Android app stores as Lyra by WGI.

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