Bernie Marasco, Co-founder
The emergence of technology in education and classroom teaching brings a totally new side to the world of ‘learning’ in today’s digital era. What started out as a very popular tachistoscope among teachers two decades ago is “a full-blown reading improvement application for schools, accessible from any device today,” says Bernie Marasco, Co-Founder, AceReader. “AceReader uses a blended approach to improve student reading rate, comprehension and fluency. Our primary focus is on providing schools with a solution that helps students improve their reading skills and to allow teachers an easy interface for managing student accounts and monitor students’ progress.”
AceReader currently serves K12 schools and colleges, vision clinics, learning centers, as well as several branches of military academies. Most colleges using the program are using it as an integrated part of their reading classes. Involving students in pacing exercises that help them learn how to read chunks of words at a time instead of word-by-word is a major component offering of AceReader. “We believe that it’s important to combine those training exercises with a blend of reading strategies, leveled reading content with leveled vocabulary built into its readings, and a sophisticated assessment tracking system that is used to auto-adjust training activities and provide progress reporting,” explains Marasco.
Running in browser mode puts AceReader in that software category that requires no installation, registration or manual backup whatsoever in the most secure of ways. “Since the ultimate way to provide privacy is to not use personal data,” states Marasco, “We do not require the use of any personal data with our program through the utilization of HTTPS connections, using a Tier 1 hosting service provider for optimal connectivity. Backups are automatic, and our servers can be scaled to handle your needs, whether you have 30 or thousands of students.”
We value our communication and
feedback with teachers since that is
what fuels our drive and motivation to
implement AceReader enhancements
Turning to their customers to communicate their needs through a built-in communication method, “We now look at ourselves as a service provider rather than a product provider,” says Marasco. “We value our communication and feedback with teachers since that is what fuels our drive and motivation to implement AceReader enhancements.”
Coming in several versions, AceReader looks to a customer base beyond an institution level, turning to families and individual consumers. “Our approach is to first meet the needs of educators and schools with our school edition, and then provide different versions of AceReader that have the same level of high standards required by a school,” explains Marasco. “Each school gets their own sub domain which allows schools to have customizations based on their needs. Our Family and Personal versions of AceReader utilize similar feature sets that make sense for families and individual users.”
Coming in many different licensing models, the affordability and customization side of AceReader makes it a popular choice in the higher education sphere. “Before we had our cloud edition, some schools were limited because of their budgets to obtain devices that we supported. Now that we are cloud based, schools are able to utilize lower cost devices like iPads and Chromebooks,” explains Marasco. “We also do not charge for special services related to training teachers and customizations as we understand that the better teachers understand AceReader, the more likely they will have success using our program to improve students reading skills.”
Setting sights on an exciting future, the roadmap of AceReader is “filled with features that we want to implement. Investing in research and development will always be a high priority for us since technology is always changing,” concludes Marasco.