Image courtesy: Microsoft Azure
It is already hard for teachers to teach children face-to-face, but it is much harder when both are just staring at a monitor to hold lessons. The pandemic has made it harder for both of them since most of the classes are held online, and there are limited resources.
Although, the continuous efforts made by tech giants such as Microsoft made e-learning a little easier.
Microsoft develops an Immersive Reader for app developers to include it on their software. The tool helps improve reading comprehension with the help of smart artificial intelligence.
Sometimes children, especially those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, have a hard time reading and comprehending texts, but Immersive Reading is a dedicated tool for them.
The feature is powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services, which is an AI that can read the text aloud. It can read it in 15 languages and perform several grammatical corrections. Moreover, it separates syllables, diagrams sentences based on grammar structure, and uses image displays for common words.
Image: Microsft Azure
The usage of context clues and visual cues is a lot easier for teachers to teach language and reading. It can also help mold the writing ability of the learners without much effort from teachers.
It is not just applicable for learners with disabilities but also for online education. Teachers can utilize the tool to fill in the gaps between them and the students.
Immersive Reader also comes in with a distraction-free view for retaining the attention of students. It is great for learners with short attention span and attention deficit disorders.
Azure AI’s Anand Raman and Anny Dow explained in a blog post that “Immersive Reader has become a critical resource for distance learning, with more than 23 million every month using the tool to improve their reading and writing comprehension.”
They added that the pandemic and the shift to online learning have made Immersive Reader’s usage increased by 560 percent.
“Between February and May 2020, when many schools moved to a distance learning model, we saw a 560 percent increase in Immersive Reader usage. As the education community embarks on a new school year in the Fall, we expect to see continued momentum for Immersive Reader as a tool for educators, parents, and students.”
Software Developers can now embed the toolkit into their apps that can be navigated in any device. The kit includes all the features and an option for translation in 70 languages. Microsoft already sealed a partnership with several companies such as Oxford University Press, Wakelet, Code.org, and Safari Montage.