At the recent CEC conference, I saw many great solutions to help students with a diverse array of challenges. Most of the technology and tools had a few things in common. They were focused on a specific task and they were expensive. One of the sessions stood out from the rest. They introduced an amazingly powerful tool to help students with reading challenges but kept adding new feature after new feature that makes this tool the most powerful tool for helping students with dyslexia, and dyscalculia that I have ever seen. As the presentation continued I was bracing myself for the sticker shock, and I was shocked. It’s Free!
Microsoft’s Immersive Reader is an amazingly powerful tool that is embedded in many of Microsoft’s products including many of its free offerings. They are continuing to add this functionality to more products at a rapid pace. At the time of this writing it is available in the following:
So what is the immersive reader?
First and foremost it’s just that. It will read text from documents, webpages, email, messages, and more to you in one of the best computer-generated voices I’ve heard. With the Lens app you can take a picture of the text on a page and it will do character recognition on the text then read the page to you. This is great for chapter books, textbooks, the smartboard, or worksheets.