October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and also the 75th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM.) To mark the month of October, Microsoft has launched Dyslexia DecodEd, a 3-part webinar series with the goal to put the right information, tools and resources required to support students with dyslexia into action in every classroom. Hear from experts, advocates, and leaders from various organizations globally on their perspectives on supporting students and building teacher capacity. Register for Dyslexia Decoded today!
The Immersive Reader was originally inspired by focusing on students with dyslexia, and we used the latest science and research around reading while using inclusive design principles to empower students and workers of all abilities. Today, more than 23 million people every month are using the Immersive Reader, improving their reading and writing comprehension. To build on Dyslexia Awareness month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we are excited to announce a set up updates that bring this powerful literacy tool to even more places!
Immersive Reader is coming to more Microsoft apps
PowerPoint gets more inclusive
One of the top requests we’ve heard from students, parents and educators has been to add the Immersive Reader to PowerPoint. It has also been a top UserVoice request for the PowerPoint team. Today we are thrilled to announce that we are adding the Immersive Reader to PowerPoint in two areas.
You’ll be able to select any text on a PowerPoint slide and choose the Immersive Reader (see the demo below). The other area was inspired directly by Molly Paris. Molly and her mother visited the Microsoft campus last year and Molly told us how helpful it would be for her to be able to access the Immersive Reader in the Notes area of PowerPoint. We’re happy to announce to Molly and everyone else that we will be adding the Immersive Reader access on the Notes section of every slide as well. This will roll out later this year.
OneDrive adding the Immersive Reader for documents
OneDrive is a great place to store and access documents and other content. To enable better access to content, we’re adding the Immersive Reader directly into the OneDrive menus to launch it on Word documents and text files. This will roll out later this year.
Forms Embedded into OneNote
OneNote has long had the ability to embed Forms on the canvas, and more recently we added the Immersive Reader for Forms. With our most recent update, students can now enable the Immersive Reader for Forms embedded into OneNote. This works for Math Quizzes in OneNote and complex equations. To access this, in the Form in OneNOte, choose the “…” menu, and then Enable Immersive Reader
New Partners Integrate Immersive Reader
- itslearning is Europe’s leading LMS provider and the learning platform is designed for teaching, because our mission is to improve education through technology. ItsLearningbelieves that while technology will never replace dedicated teachers, it can help great teachers transform lives.
Hope Cameron, a Social Studies teacher at Wausau East, Wisconsin has been using the Immersive Reader in her class and says “Immersive Reader has been very good for struggling readers to consume text. We’ve been working on the civil war, and I copied a long old newspaper article into an itsLearning Note, which the students then could use Immersive Reader to open. Having Immersive Reader in itslearning means fewer clicks and better availability.”
Frøydis Hamre, itsLearning Product Manager say “Immersive Reader is an addition to our platform that makes such a big difference to students who need help understanding text. It makes it so much easier for all students to understand and engage with the tasks and information given by their teachers.”
- Edji’s goal is to empower teachers by creating an engaging, real-time environment where students read and share thoughts. Using Edji, students publish their ideas to their class as easily as highlighting a sentence. Readers use text, audio, and even emoji to express their thoughts. Teachers control if students see their peers’ comments. It’s perfect for creating a real-time discussion in a blended learning environment, or an in-person classroom. Using Immersive Reader, students can read the material (including PDFs), and other student thoughts.
Edji has always helped me to put students’ ideas front and center. Adding Immersive Reader opens doors to ensure more students can read and discuss with the class! The best discussions are inclusive, so IR is a natural fit.”
– Will Stewart, 5th grade teacher at Westwood Intermediate School in Spring Lake Park, MN
18 new Neural Text-to-Speech languages
We are always looking to broaden the languages and locales of Immersive Reader. Today we are excited to announce 18 new Neural TTS languages for the Immersive Reader. Neural Text-to-Speech is the “human sounding” read aloud voices that we’ve been rolling out for many languages.
Neural TTS has now been extended to support 18 new languages/locales. They are Bulgarian, Czech, German (Austria), German (Switzerland), Greek, English (Ireland), French (Switzerland), Hebrew, Croatian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Tamil, Telugu and Vietnamese. Chinese (Cantonese, Traditional) and HsiaoYu in Chinese (Taiwanese Mandarin). Read the blog for the new list, and explore the full list of Neural TTS languages.
In addition to these product updates, Microsoft was setup up educator training sessions throughout the month of October on how Microsoft Learning Tools can support student success in reading, writing and math. Register here.
Principal Product Manager