Microsoft is committed to empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more – and for Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO and father of a son with special needs, the most important word in that sentence is every.
This includes technology to make it easier for every person to create, communicate and work together. Partnerships with Diversity and Inclusion Officers, Assistive Technology Coordinators, and Special Educators led Microsoft to introduce new Ease of Access settings in Windows 10 like Color Filters, deliver innovative technologies like Microsoft Learning Tools and Microsoft Translator for Education, and improve existing capabilities like Accessibility Checker in Office 365
Empowering every person starts in the classroom. That’s why today, Microsoft is announcing the extension of Learning Tools Immersive Reader to Word for iPad, Read Aloud in Microsoft Edge, and new 3rd party research showing the impact of Learning Tools on student learning outcomes.
- New Learning Tools Research: In partnership with Katherine McKnight, PhD at RTI International’s Center for Evaluation & Study of Educational Equity, the study found students using Microsoft’s Learning Tools saw a 10 percent increase in reading comprehension. Educators also stated Learning Tools improves learning equity for struggling readers, including students with dyslexia by enabling access to learning materials in other content areas like math, science and social studies.
- Immersive Reader on Word for iPad: Inclusive technology should be available to all students, regardless of which platform they are using. Starting in November, Immersive Reader features will be added to Word for iPad, including Read Aloud and Text Spacing.
- Read Aloud in Microsoft Edge: Lastly, Microsoft announced Read Aloud in Microsoft Edge as part of the Fall Creators Update. With Read Aloud in Microsoft Edge, students can open any Web page, PDF or ePub and have Microsoft Edge read the content aloud with word and line highlighting for focused reading.
You can find more information on the announcements on the Microsoft Education blog. To hear directly from a parent on the impact of Learning Tools, check out this video.