Immersive Reader in OneNote has so many features it’s taking us a week to cover them all! Yesterday we turned to the read aloud for text to speech. As Immersive Reader reads aloud, it highlights each word as it is read. Today we will look at a more intense feature called line focus.
Low Tech History
When I read, especially if I am somewhere with a lot of noise and distractions (i.e. any time my phone is around) I find it helpful to my speed and retention to hold a card or folded paper under the line I’m currently reading, and slide it down as I go. I’ve had students use rulers, too. I’ve also seen teachers give students a paper or card with a box cut out of the middle so students can only see one line at a time, and slide the paper down as they read the page. These are all low-tech versions of Line Focus in Immersive Reader.
Line focus darkens the entire screen except for the line currently being read. Actually, that’s just one option. You can choose to dim all but 1, 3, or 5 lines of text, which essentially allows students to wean off of this accommodation, if desired. The current word being read aloud is still also highlighted as well. What’s more, instead of sliding the visible line down the page, the text scrolls up to the visible box. That means students don’t have to track down with the text- the text comes up to them. Again, they can get practice with tracking from line to line by switching to the three-line and eventually the five-line version.
Line Focus in Immersive Reader
Oh, and as an added bonus, in keeping with the tenets of UDL, as a tool that was designed to assist students with a reading disability, Line Focus has a great use for certain people without a disability. With the volume turned down, it makes a great teleprompter!