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February 8, 2023

5 Tips for Getting Started With Pear Deck’s Immersive Reader Feature

When we first launched Pear Deck’s integration with Microsoft’s Immersive Reader feature, we sought to improve accessibility, engagement, and comprehension for all students. Teachers who have been using this integration have found it helps with all of that — and then some! Using Immersive Reader with Pear Deck is a powerful tool for teaching grammar, sentence structure, and new vocabulary as well.

Immersive Reader gives students access to a powerful set of tools with wide-ranging benefits that include:

  • Increasing fluency for multilingual learners
  • Helping build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels
  • Offering text decoding solutions for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia 
  • Providing translation of words or the entire text

Now available for free to all Pear Deck users, Immersive Reader helps learners improve comprehension and build confidence in their reading skills. New to this powerful integration? Here are our top five tips for getting started with Pear Deck and Immersive Reader:

1. Enable the integration in Pear Deck teacher settings

To use Immersive Reader, simply go to your Pear Deck settings page (Pear Deck Home > My Account > Settings). Go to the Immersive Reader setting and turn it on. This setting applies to all future Sessions until you turn it off.

Once enabled, students will have access to supports such as line focus, translation, and picture dictionary.

2. Help students access and understand Immersive Reader

When participating in a Pear Deck Session, students can activate Immersive Reader by selecting the icon in the lower right corner of the Student View. Doing so allows them to view the text from the Pear Deck slide in a format that helps the student follow along as it reads the text aloud, word by word. Each word is highlighted as it is read, further supporting the aural-visual connection.

Slide Design Tip: Immersive Reader moves through the text boxes in the order they were created. If you have multiple text boxes on one slide, be conscious of what order they should be read — or better yet, utilize one text box with intentional spacing.

Pear Deck write your response slide
Utilize one text box with intentional spacing.

3. Use Immersive Reader to help students adjust pace and text 

Students can also adjust settings in the Immersive Reader interface such as the pace of dictation, text size, and spacing between words. Learners can change the reading voice and the background color, which helps give students a sense of ownership of their learning.

Slide Design Tip: Immersive Reader cannot read text within an image. To make that text accessible, create a text box under those images to “reinforce” text, just as you might write a caption for a picture. If you decide you don’t want anyone to see the repeated text below, simply change the text’s color to match the slide’s background color — which effectively makes it “invisible.”

Fixing a caption so Immersive Reader can properly understand it.
Immersive Reader cannot read text within an image.

4. Syllabic breakdown 

The Immersive Reader has a grammar component that highlights nouns, verbs, and adjectives and breaks down words by syllables. 

Slide Design Tip: For better grammar comprehension for students who may have trouble viewing specific colors, be sure to explain to learners they can adjust the colors for various parts of speech in the sidebar as seen in this screenshot.

Words appear in different colors based on the part of speech it is.
Students can adjust the colors for various parts of speech.

5. Translation capabilities

For English Language Learners, Immersive Reader can translate words or the entire text into over 60 languages, over 40 of which can be read aloud.

Slide Design Tip: If you’re building a Pear Deck Multiple Choice slide, Immersive Reader won’t be able to see the options you’ve created for students. Add the options onto the slide as text boxes as well to ensure all students can utilize Immersive Reader’s capabilities and understand the options to choose from.

Words appear translated into Portuguese.
Immersive Reader can translate words or the entire text into over 60 languages.

Whatever their starting point, Immersive Reader + Pear Deck can help every student improve reading skills and comprehension, giving them the confidence to participate fully and engage with their classroom community.

For more information, check out this Immersive Reader article in the Help Center.


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