In this tutorial we will explore the basics of ReadCloud’s Immersive Reader.
About the Immersive Reader
The Immersive Reader is an advanced reading tool located inside ReadCloud’s unique eReader. It reduces distractions and offers a simplified user experience to support student’s reading.
Access the Immersive Reader
There are two ways to access the Immersive Reader:
- Open any eBook, highlight a word, phrase or entire paragraph and ReadCloud’s Learning Toolbar appears. Here you will find the Immersive Reader icon, the final icon on the right. Click this and your highlighted text will open in the Immersive Reader.
- Educators and students can also open the Immersive Workbook through the Immersive Reader icon, located at the top right corner of the screen, in the toolbar. Here you are able to paste any text you want and open it within the Immersive Reader.
You can access Text-To-Speech within the Immersive Reader by clicking the play button and the bottom of the Reader. The settings icon next to the play button allows you to alter the audio speed and choose between male and female voices.
The Immersive Reader offers students additional settings to customise their reading experience.
Click the first icon to the left. The “Aa” icon hosts “Text Preferences”. Research into dyslexia and reading impairments often identifies visual crowding as a recurring challenge. Simply toggle “Increase Spacing” to increase the line spacing and de-clutter the reading experience.
Different fonts are available to support students, especially early learners. For example, Comic Sans was initially created to mimic the way young students learn how to write.
Colour themes support readers who struggle with white backgrounds and increase the accessibility of the text. There are many different colour schemes available, designed to suit each and every student.
Similar to the “Increase Spacing”, the “Text Size” is also helpful for students with dyslexia, but also helpful for students with visual impairments.
An interesting use case is sight word practice as the “Text Preferences” support repetitive training to learn automaticity.
The second icon in the settings bar of the Immersive Reader is home to all “Grammar Options”. The “Syl-la-bles” toggle breaks down all words into syllables.
Students are able to highlight parts of the text by using the “Parts of Speech” feature for nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The highlighted colours can be customised by clicking on the drop down menu to the left of the word class names.
The toggle “Show labels” adds a label on top of each word to make the reading experience even more inclusive.
“Reading Preferences” is the icon on the far right of the Immersive Reader toolbar and offers you additional tools to customise the reading experience and save precious time.
The “Line Focus” feature is the digital version of a reading ruler. It supports learners and enables them to focus on the text at hand. Once the toggle is set to active, the ruler can cover one, two or multiple rows. The arrows on top and on the bottom of the focus text are for navigating within the Line Focus.
The picture dictionary tool supports students in identifying additional words that broaden one’s vocabulary. After switching on, students can highlight a word and a picture of that word appears.
Be mindful that a picture only pops up when you highlight certain words. There is also the possibility to hear the word read out loud.
The last feature in the Reading Preferences tab is “Translate”. By selecting one of over 60 languages, students can access translations and have the text read out loud to them. If “By word” is selected, students can highlight a word in the text. The translation shows up next to the source word. If “By document” is selected, the Immersive Reader translates the whole document.
This works seamlessly with other features turned on, such as “Syllables” or “Parts of Speech”. For most languages there is also the possibility of having the text read aloud. To switch between different languages, simply click on either “Original” or your chosen language at the top of the screen.