Immersive Reader and Learning Tools in Microsoft Edge

MicrosoftUnited States
2021 People's Choice Award
Vote for this Project
Voting closes at 23:59 EST (EST time: UTC-5) on 4 February 2021.

Empowering

Production / Professional

Team

This project is representative of Microsoft as a whole, and the design work comes from the Web Experience Collective within the company

Overview

Today’s educators are challenged to teach a wide range of abilities. When it comes to learning how to read, and language learning, Microsoft Edge assists with Immersive Reader and Learning Tools. These tools help teachers to personalize learning for each student and keep them engaged. For the first time, a browser empowers young readers and struggling learners to read all online content in the way they want, providing these tools free inbuilt in the browser.

Immersive Reader takes the latest research around reading and solves for dyslexic readers. The design process was driven by a solve for one, extend to many principle of inclusive design: if we help these readers, we help all readers. We designed a non-stigmatizing experience within the browser so struggling readers or young readers feel engaged and empowered in the classroom and on the web.

Immersive Reader creates a simple, clean, and minimal interface by removing clutter and distraction from a website, including ads and other web artefacts, presenting only the focused content to readers. The goal is to provide just enough settings for each reader to feel comfortable in the designed environment. There are several accessible themes that cater to different kinds of visual challenges including Irlen themes and Line focus that help ADHD readers with their unique learning needs.

Immersive Reader also comes with Read Aloud, which lets readers hear the web page being read aloud in a number of different voices and accents. Readers can follow along the text highlighted with the audio, further supporting an inclusive learning experience.

Learning Tools are a set of grammar and reading tools within Immersive Reader. Young readers and struggling readers usually learn to read by breaking up the words into syllables. The syllabification setting in Grammar tools dynamically breaks up the words on a webpage into syllables so young readers learn parts of speech by identifying them in the passage they are reading. By switching on these speech settings, young readers can accomplish this across the web – identifying each part of speech in a different color (which is customizable) and demarcating it with a label in case of color blindness.

Designers envisioned Immersive Reader as the most inclusive reading experience for those with reading disabilities, as well as making an impact on global language and equity challenges that young learners might face. With built in language translation, a picture dictionary interaction, and a pledge for these experiences to be free for all, we hope to deliver meaning and access to millions of readers.

Our vision is for more equitable and inclusive design. By using Immersive Reader and Learning Tools in Edge and across Microsoft learning tools like OneNote, Teams, and Word, over time, learners increase language fluency and become confident to read at higher levels. Students with different abilities are empowered to read independently online, opening a world of opportunities for lifelong learning.

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