Sony Virtuoso and Soloist review

Price when reviewed

Sony’s Virtuoso teaching software works alongside its learner’s software, Soloist, to provide a completely functional language lab.

Sony Virtuoso and Soloist review

Virtuoso provides the teacher with all the tools to guide learners’ progress by taking complete control of the students’ PCs and launching files, programs, activities, websites and bespoke tasks at will. The teacher can also control what the students can access within Windows.

Students move through tasks individually at their own pace or as a whole group. By allowing different students access to different prompts and information sheets, Virtuoso opens opportunities for differentiated learning and assessment.

Sony Virtuoso and Soloist

The Soloist software enables pupils to take control of audio playback and recording features. They can launch their own files, which may be linked to activities to help process the language being learned, and they can save oral work for playback and self-assessment. Again, with each student able to control the pace, personalised learning becomes a reality, not just a concept.

The real advantage of any language-lab software is the ability to pair or group students together for oral work. Students can hear their partners through their headsets and can reply through the built-in microphones, and since they know the teacher can listen in, there’s motivation to perform. Students can also learn from each other, providing feedback and developing activities.

Sony’s user interface stands out, and will appeal to students and teachers alike. Launching files, collecting work and closing files is highly intuitive and, while mistakes can be made, they are easily rectified.

The two greatest features for teachers are the ability to listen live and interact with what students are saying in their oral work, and the ability to operate all the features anywhere in the world so long as the student has Soloist on their machine. It’s an expensive solution, but one that provides unmatched potential for learning and interaction.


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