Product Update - April 2019

April 15, 2019 | Katie Cunningham |

The new Speak Agent version 1.6.3 adds several new or enhanced games and activities! Not to mention some other goodies. Here are the details:

  • Redesigns Word Review, now renamed "Word Gallery."Word-Gallery-word-wall We made a few changes to the learner's dictionary interface to reduce cognitive load. There are fewer thumbnail images and a slicker image gallery widget for easier navigation.The new Word Gallery also includes text-to-speech support for the learner's definitions on each page.

  • Includes a beta release of Word Spin. In the new game, students use their new words in sentences with the help of a visual word bank and text-to-speech. scaffolded-writing-activity They can work with a buddy or editor, who can critique the writing in an editing step. This game is still in beta testing, so you may not see it crop up in many lessons just yet. But we're excited to offer more writing supports.

  • Adds a new type of My Voice activity. To support inquiry-based learning in STEM courses, we've added a new Q&A component to the My Voice activity. This allows activity authors to pose open-ended questions or prompts. Students can then respond at length and record their voice in just a single take. The recordings go right into the student's digital portfolio.

  • Made enhancements to Read Along. We now support bolded text in the Read Along activities. (Older lessons will be upgraded over time.) This will help students spot keywords more easily. In addition, Read Alongs now require students to fill out a response on each page before they continue onward, as part of the dialogic reading instructional strategy.

  • Improves the game artwork. You may have noticed some of our newer games display beautifully illustrated artwork before you load the game, while others have just simple icons. Well, more new illustrations have been added, along with brief messages that help students understand what each game is about. We hope you like them!

  • Fixed a display issue affecting some students. For students using the secondary version, lesson titles were sometimes getting cut short. Now they display better.
    When students listened to Tall Tales, it wasn't reading the parts of speech needed for the blanks. Fixed!

  • Addressed issues with the newest Safari browser version. The newest version of Safari was blocking audio from playing in some games. Problem solved!

  • Removed an authoring dead-end. For users who don't have editing rights, up until now you could copy wordlists and lessons, but then couldn't do anything with them. From now on, if you don't have editing rights, you won't see the COPY command.

  • Anything else? Oh yes, there were many other minor bugs fixed. Yes, indeed there were!

As always, if you have a brilliant idea or something that's bugging you about Speak Agent, we are listening! Just contact us. 

Katie Cunningham is CTO and Co-Founder of Speak Agent, Inc.

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