Picture your classroom full of students. Now, realize that, on average, one out of every five of them has some form of reading disorder.
Now, imagine being one of those students. You need help, but you probably don't want to be stigmatized by a special needs aide sitting by your side. (That assumes, of course, that there's a special needs aide available.)
As teachers, we want to support those students. It impacts how they learn in our class. But, more importantly, it helps them to feel successful and confident in their learning.
Thankfully, there's a FREE solution to help them that's non-stigmatizing.
Immersive Reader is a tool that helps students to read by ...
We talked about that stigma. Many students need support but don't want to be ostracized by their peers for getting it.
Picture this ...
Students are working on an activity. Part of it involves reading on a screen on their laptop or Chromebook.
A student realizes that they need some help.
They grab headphones out of their pocket or backpack.
They pull up Immersive Reader in a program or app that supports it. Immediately ...
How much teacher support does it take for the student to do this? Zero. (After the student knows how to access it.
How much attention does it call to the student that they need help? Zero.
How much does it empower the student and help them to self-support their struggles? A ton.
If you can see the possibilities and the impact this tool can have on students, this might be your next question ...
Where can I get it?
Oh, and is it free?
The good news: Yes, it's free. And yes, you can get it.
Here are three ways to get Immersive Reader in the hands of your students:
Good news #1: Immersive Reader is available through Microsoft Word, OneNote, Teams, Forms, and more.
Good news #2: Microsoft offers those tools and all of Office 365 -- Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more -- to schools for FREE.
You can get access to 22 free Office apps. When students get free access to these tools, they can copy text into Word or OneNote and use Immersive Reader on it.
As long as they can get text into one of those apps, they can use Immersive Reader to read it easier.
The list of apps that use Immersive Reader (or a version of it) is growing. It includes:
The Microsoft Edge web browser supports the read aloud feature that's similar to the Immersive Reader experience. Click the three dots menu button on the Edge browser -- or long-tap or right-click anywhere -- and choose "Read Aloud".
There's also the Immersive Reader Offline Extension, which lets a Windows device use Immersive Reader even when there isn't an active Internet connection.
Do your students use the Google Chrome web browser on Chromebooks or other devices? They can use the unofficial Immersive Reader extension to help them read text on any web page.
It gives you access to all of the Immersive Reader features, including picture dictionary, background color change, focus view and more.
Things to know about this app:
How have you used Immersive Reader? What are your best tips and suggestions for using it? Share them in a comment below!
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