Learning Tools

Microsoft Immersive Reader Now Freely Available in Canvas LMS

Instructure, which produces the learning management system Canvas, recently announced that it is making Immersive Reader from Microsoft freely available in its application. The two companies have been beta-testing the integration for the last year.

Immersive Reader is intended to improve independent reading for students with specific learning needs, such as dyslexia. Among the program's features:

  • Reading of text and math out loud;
  • Breaking words into syllables;
  • Increasing spacing between lines and letters, shortening line length and providing a focus mode;
  • A picture dictionary; and
  • Real-time translation.

"Last year Instructure became the first [LMS] provider to offer Immersive Reader for students," said Mitch Benson, Instructure's chief product officer, in a statement. "Our beta users love this tool because it demonstrably increases reading and writing comprehension, and is seamlessly woven inside the Canvas experience at no additional cost to schools. This is just one piece of the broader collaboration between Microsoft and Instructure that we're excited to move forward in 2021."

In 2020, Instructure also added Microsoft Teams meetings as a default conferencing tool in Canvas.

Instructure has added instructor help on the use of Immersive Reader to its community pages.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.