21 March 2014
It is with great pride that I write this post officially announcing the launch of our dedicated education platform, Booktrack Classroom (see press release below for details).
We developed Booktrack Classroom because our entire team is passionate about reading and writing and believe a society who reads is a society that succeeds. We often hear from parents and teachers about how it is getting more difficult to get middle and high school students to read due to competition from video games, television, and apps. We hope that Booktrack Classroom will help make reading and writing fun again for students through combining text with an entertainment medium that they are extraordinary passionate about as teenagers – music.
Today's launch is the result of years of painstaking work by our Booktrack team and I thank them for their commitment, dedication, and creativity.
Please email us with your feedback – we created Booktrack Classroom because teachers around the world asked for it so we would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
Global technology company Booktrack is poised to make an impact on literacy in schools with the release today of a dedicated education platform, Booktrack Classroom, which gives students free access to hundreds of soundtracked eBooks suitable for curriculum text or to create their own Booktrack titles.
The announcement follows findings from a research project conducted by a team of experts from the University of Auckland that shows how reading with Booktrack increases reading comprehension and engagement. Of the 260 students in the randomized study, those who read the syllabus text incorporating Booktrack’s synchronized soundtrack spent 30% more time reading and registered up to 17% higher comprehension in comparison with the control group.
Professor Matthew Parsons, University of Auckland, provided academic oversight for the study and describes the results as excitingi. “Preliminary results showed a significant improvement and I was excited to see the impact it had on comprehension in high school students.”
A second study was conducted with students with reading difficulties, with an even greater impact. This group had up to 18% higher comprehension and 35% higher satisfaction. The studies were led by Dave Hithersay, head of Biology at Auckland’s Mt Roskill Grammar School.
“There was an instant shift in reading comprehension across both groups. I don’t think there’s anything equivalent that has had such an instant impact on comprehension improvement since the initial invention of the book itself.”
Booktrack’s expansion into education builds on the company’s recent successful fundraising round where it secured US$3million from global investors, led by Sparkbox Ventures. It allows the company to build on its recent growth with Booktrack Studio, which provides self-published writers with the ability to add soundtracks to their ebooks. In just over five months since its launch, over 300,000 users have created more than 3,600 Booktracks in 30 different languages and have spent more than 2.5 years reading.
Booktrack CEO Paul Cameron says it’s important for Booktrack to keep reading fun for the next generation of digital learners.
“With the increasing number of distractions available to kids across video games, television and apps, teachers and parents often struggle to get students excited about reading and writing. Booktrack not only makes reading and writing more fun, bust as this study shows, it also improves learning. This is why we are making the Booktrack Classroom system free to all schools in order to help teachers improve reading enjoyment and comprehension for their students and incorporate into their curriculum.”
MEDIA CONTACTS (for Booktrack, University of Auckland and Dave Hithersay)
Clare England, Booktrack (Communications), firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 021 615 915
i Professor Parsons noted it was unusual to be able to set out such a robust study design with a sufficiently large sample size to fully support the findings.