Teachers struggling with students who have learning disabilities constantly look for applications to help adaptation, and Microsoft Office Lens has a new update that matches this need perfectly. Accessibility to aid students is one of the greatest challenges for teachers in the classroom. Students who have learning disabilities that impact reading and writing can feel adrift in the classroom, and the best teachers want to help find them tools to succeed. With the new update to Microsoft Office Lens, adaptability becomes that much easier.
Many students with visual disabilities find that having books and class work read to them help overcome the disability. The problem is that not every text can be found in an adapted format. Those students who most need the accommodation often find that they are left without the support they need. For example, children with visual/perceptual motor deficits or dyslexia often have a hard time processing the language they see but understand the content perfectly fine when it’s provided in an auditory format. For these students, having something that allows them to better access their education can be the difference between moving up to the next grade or stagnating.
Microsoft Office Lens’s recent update provides a financially reasonable approach for these students. Not only does it give them the ability to scan books, it also allows them to listen to these books so that they can better process the information. Available across platforms, this means that regardless of a school’s technology environment, the Lens can be used to meet accommodations.
Students and teachers can now take pictures of documents which then turns them into scanned documents. Integrating with Office Lens, they can turn on the Immersive Reader function. This gives students and teachers the ability to enlarge both the fonts and spacing to make it easier to read. However, the truly innovative aspect is the ability to use the Read Aloud function. With the Read Aloud function, the documents can be turned into interactive e-books. As the application reads the document, it also highlights the words. Students who have a hard time processing visual language can now engage both visually and orally so that they can integrate the two in an adaptive manner.
In addition to the reading aspect, Microsoft Office Lens provides a unique opportunity to help students with their writing. For many students, understanding the concepts of syntax appear far more difficult than recognizing awkward syntax. However, simply re-reading a paper by themselves can lead to them not catching their own mistakes because they do it in their heads instead of out loud. Reading papers out loud can feel awkward and uncomfortable, especially as children get older. Microsoft Office Lens can help students engage in more efficient proofreading by reading their papers to them while they follow along visually allowing them to both hear the mistakes and see where to fix them in the document. For writing teachers, this will help students engage more independently in the editing and revising part of the writing process.
Here are some key must test out features in Office Lens.
- Read aloud: Reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention.
- Font size: the user to increase or decrease the size of fonts.
- Wide text spacing: Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from “visual crowding” issues.
- Back five words and forward one page: Allows the user to move backward and forward in the content.
- Speaking rate: Allows the user to control the speed of the voice reading back the words.
Overall, Microsoft’s new updates to Office Lens are revolutionary in terms of adaptability for students. Teachers hoping to help students find new ways to engage in their lasses and overcome learning disabilities will find this to be one of the most important technology updates they have seen in a long time. Visit the Office Blogs or check out these YouTube Videos” Microsoft Learning Tools in Office Lens” and “Microsoft Office Lens offers built-in accessibility with Immersive Reader & Frame Guide” to learn more.