Machine Assisted Speed Reading and Training

Christopher Brandt, Michael Wehar, Computer Science, Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore PA, 19081

Educational technology (also known as EdTech) is a developing field that combines computer software and educational theory. Within EdTech we explored technology for reading. Reading is a vast subject that combines elements of human anatomy and psychology. For our project, we explore how technology can lead to more consistent eye movement, faster information processing, and comprehension to help people read more efficiently. In the United States, reading is typically only taught through elementary school, so people miss the opportunity to continue advancing their reading skills throughout their lives. Our hope is to use technology to enable users to continue advancing their reading skills.

Based on our findings, we propose a web-based system called RhinoReading to help improve reading speed through visual effects. Our system is a Web Application written using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. It uses visual effects to guide eye movement across a virtual reading page. The reading page includes visual configurations for color and font, tracing features such as highlight, underline, and bold, speed selection by word or letter, and an assortment of tracking options that serve a variety of purposes.

The second part of this project involves server management and data analysis. Our system’s backend was implemented as a Flask Application programmed in Python. This app controls flow between pages and processes data transfer between pages and a relational database. The pages include home, reading passage selection, comprehension quizzes, and statistics. The database stores user accounts, passages, quiz questions/answers, and reading session data.

By making our system available to the public, we hope to gain feedback from beta users and learn about the effectiveness of technology for the improvement of reading speed.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Christopher Brandt

Institution: Swarthmore College

Type: Oral

Subject: Computer Science

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Oral 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 1013
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