I received the following announcement from Suzanne at Soliloquy Learning, and thought that some of you might be interested:
Seeking families with kids ages 5-9 to test interactive reading product
Do you love books and want to share that love of reading with your kids? Are you interested in being one of the first users of a cutting edge technology that helps kids learn to read and gets them excited about reading? Would you like to contribute to the development of a breakthrough product by providing feedback about your experiences?
If you answered yes to these questions, we’d like to invite you to try out an early version of this product by participating in the Readio Network Pioneer Program. The product, called Readio, is a new software program and web site that takes parent and child read-aloud to a whole new level. Readio is not yet commercially available, but we are inviting qualified families to participate in a free trial. The program has been up and running for a few weeks and will continue to run until April 2007.
In addition to influencing the development of this product, as in-home Pioneer Program participants, your family will receive a complementary six-month subscription to the Readio service once it is commercially released.
All you need to qualify is at least one child between the ages of 5 and 9, a Microsoft® Windows XP-based PC with broadband Internet access in your home and a willingness to provide feedback.
If you would like to apply, please visit this site and complete our brief survey. You will then be contacted directly with details on getting started.
I don't have any personal experience with this company, or with this specific program. But I do like their mission statement:
Our Mission is to get kids excited about reading and learning by providing them with a tool that makes reading a fun, real-time interactive experience.
I don't think that anything is a substitute for parents spending quality time reading with their kids. But this could be an interesting way to augment that. If it sounds promising to you, the next step is to participate in their survey.