“My daughter has always been a fine reader but it’s like pulling teeth to get her to practice her reading. She received Ello on a Monday and read all five books by Friday. She loves it! I love that she loves it. She now looks forward to reading. Worth every penny! Thank you Ello!”
“Our 2nd grader needed more time reading but with 2 brothers and a crazy sports schedule it was hard for me to sit with him and read one on one. Ello has been amazing! He can sit independently and read with support! Not only does Ello help him sound out words he doesn’t know but it also helps him understand what is happening in the story. Ello is the first piece of homework he brings me! Thank you Ello!”
“My son really enjoys the interactive reading with Ello and the character sure makes it fun for him to learn. He gets very excited when Ello is encouraging. The books are great and he also really enjoys the stickers. The only thing is I’ve noticed when he is attempting to read if he starts to ask a question or says he doesn’t understand a word, Ello picks up any sound from his voice and acknowledges it as he is reading when he is not. I think the app has some flaws in this regard. It will then automatically turn the page and my son is sitting there, looking clueless because he didn’t even read the previous page and we’re struggling with the words. Also, when he struggles with the word ELLO briefly sounds out the word, but does not break the word down the best way for younger children to understand how to actually learn to sound the word out. We will continue our second month subscription because we have a credit on our account and will see how things go. If they do not make corrections with the app, then we probably will not continue after the second month.”
Hi Angela! Thank you for your review; we really appreciate the feedback and are working to improve Ello every day.
Speech recognition (as you might know from Alexa or Siri) isn't perfect. We walk a delicate balance between not wanting to be SO strict that a slight accent or difference in pronunciation results in Ello getting stuck or detecting an error, and also not wanting to be so lenient that it lets kids through with a ton of mistakes or doesn't correct a mistake. Kids are particularly sensitive to the first --no one likes to be told they are "wrong" when they aren't-- so we lean a bit more lenient.
Ello is always there for kids (via the question mark) when they want help, and we never interrupt them during reading to correct an error. Teachers don't do this either. We wait until the end of the page and then have them go back if we think they missed a word (so be sure to look out for this for corrections). The bottom line is this: we think about the experience holistically. Ello is motivating support that will correct them on errors (although not all errors, by design), is always there to help if a child proactively asks for it, and motivates them to keep going!
A few tips for speech recognition in case it helps:
Ello can get stuck (though we don't get reports of it happening too often). Here are some things that might help or explain: any damage to the microphone internally, background noise, or clarity of the speaker (yelling actually makes it worse!).
Here are some things you can do:
1). Skip the page if it is read (push the arrow forward)
2). Hit the question mark to see where Ello is stuck
3). Keep reading fluidly at least 5 or 6 words. Reading one word at a time can actually make it worse. When getting help on a single word (when Ello has the flashlight up), give a few seconds before repeating it again. Ello can sometimes take a second to process single words. Let me know if any of this helps!
If you are still having issues with speech recognition, let us know and we can troubleshoot some more!
“My daughter REFUSED to even try to read. She has not been interested in reading since the beginning. I have tried so many programs but this one is way different. She is actually excited to read the new books.”
“My daughter has been doing really well with the program. Last night, she Finished her first box of books. We will be re-reading several stories and I’m so proud of her progress. I cannot wait to see what Ello has in store for us next month. My daughter is in the third grade and was severely behind in reading skills. I really believe it is clicking for her now -and with every book, getting easier. If I had to provide constructive criticism, I would say having a choice of mascots for older kids would be great; as well as being able to access the app in the child’s profile on her fire tablet. Overall, I would definitely recommend!!!”