Many of us suffer through the experience of reading large amounts of text online. Our students are asked to read increasing amounts of information online and for the 1 in 5 of them that has dyslexia the problem is even more apparent.
I am excited to share that the Immersive Reader tool developed by Microsoft is now available in Google Chrome on any web page.
So what is Immersive reader? It is a technology that was developed by Microsoft as one of the views that can be used when editing a Microsoft word document. What makes it so much more useful is that Microsoft has made the technology available for other platforms to use in a variety of ways.
Consider the following website with information about geography written in a wikipedia article.
The information given here is not the most readable for many readers. The good news is that the Co-Founder of PearDeck has written a plugin for Google Chrome that allows users to load any web text in immersive reader.
Head over to the Chrome Web Store or use this link to go to the Use Immersive Reader on Websites [Unofficial] Plugin page and install the plugin.
Once you have it installed you can use the plugin by first selecting the text you want to read and choosing “Help me to read this”
Your text now loads in an immersive reader window. Click the play button and the text will be read to you.
You have options to change the Font and background (Text) to make it easier to read for students with disabilities. Choose from different background colors, fonts and text sizes.
The grammar options let you turn on visibility of parts of speech and syllables.
Lastly the Reading prefs lets you turn on a picture dictionary and even has built in languages that you can choose for each word or apply to the whole page.
Beyond the awesome browser extension you will also find Immersive Reader in a number of other places in apps you use for online learning including Pear Deck, Nearpod, Canvas, Code.org, Flocabulary and Powerschool Unified classroom. Look for the Immersive reader icon.
Ask your tech coordinator if the Immersive Reader for Websites [Unofficial] can be installed on your students’ Chromebooks and bring them an easier way to read online.