ImmersiveReader in Minecraft EE
This spring I was showing Minecraft Education Edition to the MOI (Materials of Instruction) committee as they were deciding whether or not to add it to our approved list of apps. I was pointing out the ways students can express what they’ve learned with the various types of signs. Someone from our Special Education office asked if there was any text to speech. Great question. At the time, the answer was no. But I pointed out that Microsoft bought Minecraft several years ago specifically to make it an educational tool. Also, Microsoft has this amazing thing called ImmersiveReader. ImmeriveReader was spreading across Microsoft’s world, so, it stood to reason that sometime in the future they would put ImmersiveReader into Minecraft. I had no idea “some time in the future” was just a few months!
ImmersiveReader in Microsoft Forms
Similarly, when Microsoft announced that Forms was now enabling sections, which makes it easy to have long reading passages, followed by several questions about that passage, then another passage with its corresponding questions, I jumped on Twitter and reached out to anyone I knew at Microsoft Edu to plead, “Now we really need ImmersiveReader in Forms”. That was less than a month ago. Voila! More Microsoft magic.
ImmersiveReader in 3rd Party Apps
That would be enough to make my day, week and month. But then Microsoft added that they are offering ImmersiveReader to 3rd parties. That means some of my favorite EdTech tools can jump on Microsoft’s accessibility bandwagon. I’m super excited that Wakelet and Nearpod are among the first EdTech companies to join up.
ImmersiveReader in Microsoft Whiteboard
As an added bonus, the new, interactive, online, collaborative Microsoft Whiteboard app is getting the ImmersiveReader treatment as well. I was planning to cover Whiteboard next in this series, but Microsoft has made so many incredible announcements this week I’ve had to put that off. I just can’t keep up with all the good news. And that’s good news.