Footsteps2Brilliance (F2B) is an impressive educational game platform that supports students in prek - 3rd grade in learning to read and write. Their Academic Language Program for Students (ALPS) teaches young children the 1,000 key words they will need to develop a powerful reading and writing vocabulary through animated ebooks and games. There is a back end management system tracks mastery of each child's vocabulary and comprehension development as well as standards-based concepts. The program was developed in response to the landmark Hart-Risley study on language development that shows that an underprivileged child enters school with 25% of the vocabulary they need to succeed academically. This program helps to rectify this situation by creating a language rich environment for all children.
There are several features that I particularly like. First, I love that the books are interactive. With F2B books literally come to life. Each story page has animated characters that students can interact with to act out what is written on the page. I also like that the child can have the choice of reading the book or having the book read to him or her. Additionally, a child can choose to read the book, and just have words they are unsure of read to them. Reading comprehension is assessed in a fun and natural way with interactive games that rewards children as they develop their comprehension skills. Student's reading ability is tracked in a backend system that provides meaningful information to the child's teacher or parent. With a tool like this assessing student progress, there should no longer be a need for outdated, standardized bubbletests. Finally, I love that the program provides children with the ability to write and illustrate their own books.
Reading comprehension of Calistoga preschoolers increased from 58.5 percent to 76.4 percent, with Footsteps 2 Brilliance. You can read more about what happened at the school here and in this newspaper article. Read the data behind the study here.
See for yourself
The three videos below provide great insight into how this program works. The first video shows a five-year-old girl using the program. The second brings us into it's use in the classroom and the last video is a story featured on NBC with the teacher and the parent of a student who used F2B for learning.