School’s Out for Summer but the Learning Never Ends
As teachers know, students enter the classroom with a wide range of learning styles, experiences, and abilities, not to mention personalities! Providing multiple modes of expression helps every student communicate their ideas and connect with others – valuable skills that will serve them well throughout their personal and professional lives. Strong communication skills are vital to scholastic achievement and Dictation, coming to Office 365, provides a powerful way for teachers and students to conquer the blank page and effectively present their ideas and thoughts to the world with their voice. To help improve students’ reading skills, we’ve also incorporated feedback from both teachers and students to improve Immersive Reader, delivering personalized learning experiences for a wide range of learners.
Dictation in Office—This simple yet transformative tool helps students of all abilities write freely by speaking into a microphone. Starting in June, Dictation will be available to Office 365 customers in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook Desktop, OneNote Windows 10, and coming later this year to Word and OneNote Online. Dictation will initially be supported in English (US and Canada), Spanish and Chinese, with 6 more languages in preview: English (UK/Australia/India), French (France/Canada), German, Italian, and Portuguese (Brazil).
Dictation in Word Desktop
Dictation in OneNote for Windows 10
Adverbs join the Parts of Speech “family” in Immersive Reader
Since the original Microsoft Hackathon project, Immersive Reader has had the ability to highlight important parts of speech including nouns, verbs, and adjectives. In the mission to continually improve this personalized learning tool, we listened to valuable feedback from teachers that adverbs are also an important part of speech that should be highlighted. Over the following weeks, we will be rolling out these updates worldwide.
Adverb highlighting in the Immersive Reader
Availability: Word Online, OneNote Online, OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote for iPad, OneNote for Mac, and Outlook in the Web
Languages: English, Danish, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian (bokmål), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Additional Page Theme Colors
To help students customize their reading experiences even more, we’ve added additional page color theme options. We still have the original themes, but we’ve added the ability to expand the color palette and choose additional colors.
Expanded color choices for page themes
To ensure Parts of Speech are accessible to more students, we also added a “Show Labels” switch to allow students to add a small text label over the part of speech. This accessbility feature is particularly helpful for those that may have trouble distinguishing different colors but can also be used to reinforce Parts of Speech for all readers.
“Show labels” to put small text labels over the parts of speech
The warm Summer months are a time to tackle your reading list and to start thinking about ways to bring out the best in your students in the Fall. In the meantime, we are working hard to build features you love. Please share any suggestions or feedback at @MicrosoftEDU, and if you need support or help, file a support ticket.
Just don’t forget the sunscreen.