CITY OF INDUSTRY – Fifth-grade students at Baldwin Academy are benefiting from Microsoft Education’s public preview of its latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning tool, Reading Coach. The free immersive experience harnesses generative AI to help learners produce their own stories and independently practice reading-aloud content that gets them excited about reading.

In addition to generating engaging stories from characters and settings selected by students in real-time, Reading Coach also tracks each student’s progress to help educators gauge their growth, find areas of opportunity and earn badges to track their amount of time, proficiency and reading level.

“We’ve been using the pilot of Reading Coach for a few months now and I love it and think AI is so cool,” fifth-grader Kayleen Torres said. “I like to select a cat as my main character and then choose the setting to be in space, and you don’t have to wait at all; AI creates a story for us to read within seconds and afterward gives me feedback on which words I should practice.”

The progress tracker works to identify the five words each student struggled with the most and presents them again with tools to support the learner in practicing independently. Based on educator preferences, tools available to students can include text-to-speech, syllable breaking and picture dictionary.

“I’m able to quickly look over their shoulder and see on their screen how accurate they were, progress areas and badges they earned, which show me how much they are reading,” teacher Ana Ruiz said. “Just as quickly they can create their story, I can get the feedback. Reading Coach is so important because before this tool, I would be in a class with 36 students, and trying to hear each student read would have taken a long time. Now, within a single day, I can assess the reading progress of all 36 students.”

Baldwin Academy students, Ruiz and District Tech Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) Ricardo Recinos and Teresa Magpayo Castro were featured on Microsoft’s Digital Transformation News for their efforts and success using the innovative application on Jan. 24.

“When Microsoft approached me about initiating this exciting pilot program at our District, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for our Baldwin Bulldogs, as our students are avid learners who consistently thrive on exploration and creativity,” Recinos said. “At HLPUSD, we truly are at the forefront of technology in TK-12th-grade education and we look forward to what’s to come.”

Reading Coach is live and available across the nation. For the latest news and more information regarding Microsoft AI tools, visit Microsoft’s Education Blog.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Education I want to thank Microsoft for providing us with this amazing opportunity that is helping our students develop reading fluency and become proficient readers,” Jiménez said. “As you may know, each program at HLPUSD begins as a pilot model, which means we implement a new initiative to a small group to see how it best works for our students and teachers before moving forward. The Reading Coach pilot has exceeded all our expectations. It is wonderful to hear first-hand from our students that they feel more confident and are enjoying reading more than ever.”


HLPUSD_READINGCOACH1: From left to right: District Director of Data, Research and Innovation and immediate past principal of Baldwin Academy Lilia Picado, Tech TOSA Teresa Magpayo Castro, KTLA Tech Report Rich DeMuro, Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez, fifth-grade teacher Ana Ruiz, Tech TOSA Ricardo Recinos and students celebrate the generative AI learning tool, Reading Coach, during an exclusive interview on Feb. 15.

HLPUSD_READINGCOACH2: Baldwin Academy Principal Kelly Arena watches a fifth-grade student read aloud a story generated by Microsoft’s immersive learning tool Reading Coach.

HLPUSD_READINGCOACH3: Baldwin Academy Teacher Ana Ruiz helps students track their reading progress during a Reading Coach lesson on Feb. 15.