Why So Few Fast ForWord Updates?

July 25, 2012 by Geoff Nixon

Why Mess With Success?

A friend of ours recently relayed a criticism in business circles that there have not been many Fast ForWord updates:

“It has not been updated since the mid-1990s when it was launched!  In a world where children have changed (granted, most are getting a daily shot of ADD symptoms with all the added digital media and over scheduling) and computers have advanced, why is that a so-called cutting-edge, cognitive training program is still using algorithms and designs from the 1990s?”

The facts here are (mainly) true, but the implication that no Fast ForWord updates equates with a stale, neglected software is way off.

Unlike most competing cognitive and reading interventions, where the owners do seem to be tweaking and updating constantly — presumably because the results are not what they would like — the Fast ForWord developers have a different problem.

It’s simple, we told our friend. Fast ForWord works.

Would you mess with a software that is so consistently able to rewire learning and reading, and so dramatically change lives?

Recent Fast ForWord Updates

To some extent it has been “updated.”  New graphics were released in 2009 and in 2012 a web version was released.  And the software developers have worked hard to create more efficiency in the program.  For instance, it has taken advantage of better computing power to add clarity to its patented processing speech patterns.  It has also taken out or reduced the time taken for reward sequences between exercise trials that stimulate neurotransmitters needed for rewiring.

However, our friend is essentially right.  Fast ForWord updates are rare. The software has found a successful approach — defined by the adaptivity algorithms, the size of the increments of added speed and complexity that is added, the number of trials to progress to the next step, the mix of cognitive, language and reading skills exercised, and a hundred other variables.

The program incorporates the same underlying science that was so painstakingly developed in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and then become possible to apply with the advent of the personal computer.

And we are thankful!  We are having incredible success with this program for a wide variety of students and would not want to see it tampered with for any reason.

Learn more about the history of Fast ForWord brain research. Contact Gemm Learning if you want to see if your child is a candidate for this amazing program.