About The Dynamic Alphabet (DynA) Phonics Reading Software System

How did DynA come to be?

The Dynamic Alphabet Phonics Reading Software System came about as the direct result of participation in Startup Quest. The Startup Quest website states that "Startup Quest® is a nationally recognized entrepreneurship training program that connects teams of qualified participants with successful CEOs and entrepreneurs to learn the steps needed to transform an invention or discovery into a product for the marketplace. The program gives these professionals the training and skills to become entrepreneurs or bring their new entrepreneurial skills to an existing company".

Product Description

DynA Phonics is in the process of developing software that will be available on a variety of platforms. Using a proprietary dynamic alphabet developed at the University of South Florida, DynA Phonics will develop and produce a comprehensive website, PC software, and mobile applications (referred to as "apps") to teach beginning and basic reading skills to children ages 3 to 8 years old. This software will turn phonics into a learning game that makes letters and words come alive. Highly manipulative, children can put together the letter animations to create audible syllables, words and stories of their own, or work on pre-planned lessons. There is also a feature that will allow learners to add their own voice to truly make the words and stories "their own".

But isn't somebody already doing that?

While there are reading apps and websites, none incorporate the DynA Phonics Dynamic Alphabet. Learning letter sounds and letter combinations (phonemes) is challenging for beginning readers. The English language alphabet contains only 26 letters; yet, there are 44 different sounds or phonics. For example the "C" in cat is hard, while the "C" in city is soft. A middle vowel is long when paired with a silent "E". The DynA Animated Software for Learning to Read shows these sound relationships.

Isn't phonics out of vogue?

An on-again, off-again debate surfaces periodically about the virtues of teaching reading in the United States using phonics versus a "whole language approach". Ultimately a series of studies were conducted, included one in 2000 by the National Reading Panel, which concluded that phonics instruction is an effective method of teaching reading for students from kindergarten through 6th grade, and for all children who are having difficulty learning to read. They also found that phonics instruction benefits all ages in learning to spell. It is interesting to note that phonics has been taught in the U.S. for quite awhile. This is evidenced by the fact that Watson's Graphic Speller, referenced various aspects of phonics back in 1884.

What makes DynA Animated Software for Learning to Read different?

Modeled on mouth movements and vocal analogies, the Dynamic Alphabet uses animated letter forms as visual cues to represent these different sounds, making them easier to learn and remember. The cues are subtle and can be faded out as the child learns them. In the animated letter mode, a letter or word "comes alive" by speaking it's sound. Letters animate in a mouth-like manner and are combined and animated as a group allowing the child to hear how letter sounds are blended.

Does it work?

The technology has demonstrated promising results in two small studies conducted by the inventor using a simple prototype. DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) test results showed a nearly 60 point improvement for Kindergarteners and a 15 point increase for 2nd and 3rd graders after using the Dynamic Alphabet for only 6 sessions.

What will be offered?

A robust website will be the main training platform with a variety of options relating to age and need. It will contain bright graphic images to capture the imagination of the student and hold his or her attention throughout each lesson. Students will have some customization options and the teacher or parent will have more based on reading level and progress made. The website will also feature a parent discussion forum, helpful hints and tips for parents, guest blogs and "Classroom Corner", a community forum for teachers to share their insights gleaned from using the DynA Animated Software for Learning to Read products, Website and teaching resources.