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Microsoft Immersive Reader

Microsoft Immersive Reader is an interactive reading comprehension and learning tool. This tool makes text more accessible to learners of all ages and abilities. Using Microsoft Immersive Reader, you can have text read aloud at different speeds and by different voices, change text size, font, and spacing, highlight specific parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs), break apart words by syllables, translate text to more than 80 languages, hear audio recordings of the words spoken in different languages, and see words represented as pictures.

Microsoft Immersive Reader can be accessed through Microsoft Tools (e.g., Word, OneNote, Edge) and you can try it out for free on the Learning Tools page of the Microsoft website. Immersive Reader can also be accessed through Flipgrid, Minecraft, and other tools. This tool can be beneficial for students who are learning English as well as students with disabilities.

Tool Snapshot

Price Free demo on the Microsoft Learning Tools page; Integrated into Microsoft tools
Learning BehaviorismCognitive Constructivism
Ease of Use ★★★★★
Privacy ★★★☆☆
Accessibility  ★★★★★
Class Size Unlimited
Login Not required for the free trial on Website. Required for using Microsoft Online tools.
ISTE*S Empowered Learner
COPPA/
FERPA
Yes

Ease of Use

Immersive Reader’s usability is outstanding. There are icons at the top right that allows the user to easily open up text preferences, grammar options, and reading preferences to adjust the text to their liking. 

Privacy

Microsoft tools are COPPA/FERPA compliant, but as with any major company, there are questions about what they do with the users’ information.

Accessibility

Immersive Reader’s accessibility is exceptional. With the wide range of preferences and languages that are available on the website as well as the multimodal functionality and read aloud features, Immersive Reader stands out from other tools with its support of accessible learning. 

Microsoft Immersive Reader Video

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-ePHQ

Transcript

Microsoft Immersive Reader & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool. 

Here is an example of how Microsoft Immersive Reader might fit within the SAMR model: 

Far too often, technology is used as a direct substitute for other low-tech tools (e.g., pencil and paper). While substitution has some benefits (e.g., students develop their technology skills and knowledge), we encourage you to think about how you might use Microsoft Immersive Reader to modify or redefine learning.

Learning Activities

Math

Count the amount of words read per minute at different speed settings. Count the number of verbs and syllables in a paragraph.

Science 

Use Microsoft Immersive Reader to make difficult science texts easier to read. Explore the picture dictionary representation of challenging words.

Foreign Language

Use the tool to promote listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Use it to translate phrases and provide picture representations of words that students do not know. Have students analyze the accuracy of the translations. Microsoft Immersive Reader can also be used to highlight the different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives from text in another language. 

Shows a drop down of the word Happy and allows the user to hear the word spoken in English and Spanish
The picture dictionary definition for the word “happy.” The Spanish translation is also visible.

English/Language Arts

Use Microsoft Immersive Reader to make difficult texts more accessible. Use the tool to highlight syllables and support word pronunciation. Or, use the tool to highlight different parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Screencast with a sentence showing the parts of speech
A screenshot showcasing how Microsoft Immersive Reader can highlight different parts of speech and syllables.

Resources

Immersive Reader Video (by Mr. Tompkins EdTech)

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-gSSq

How to Use Microsoft Immersive Reader

These steps are for the free online version. If you want directions for how to use it through a different source (i.e., Word), there is information in the Resources section above.

The location where one inputs their own text to use Microsoft Immersive Reader in browser.

The location where one inputs their own text to use Microsoft Immersive Reader in browser.

Text Preferences

The first of the three upper right menus, provides options for text display settings, including:

Grammar Preferences

The second of the three upper right menus, provides options to explore grammar:

Reading Preferences

The third of the three upper right hand menus, provides options for changing the text:

Research

Broeks, M., Dimova, S., Iakovidou, E., Ilie, S., Jarke, H., Sutherland, A., Thompson, G. (2020). Evaluation of a Technology-based Intervention for Reading in UK Classroom Setting. RAND Europe.

McKnight, K. (n.d.). Leveling the playing field with Microsoft Learning Tools. RTI International. 

Authors

This page was created by Mason Peng, Aviahna Austin, and Joey Ice.

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