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Engaging Every Student

November 18, 2021

Dear Slide Doctor: Reinforcing Reading!

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Pear Deck Team

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Slide Doctor is a Pear Deck series where crowded, lackluster, or otherwise ornery slides are transformed into beautiful, effective ones. Have slides you need help with? Submit your question and slides to the Slide Doctor at with the Subject Line: Slide Doctor!

Dear Slide Doctor,

I have students that often need assistance with reading text — which is why I love Immersive Reader! Can you help me ensure that my slide design is enabling Immersive Reader to work effectively? Do you have any tips to share?


Immersive Emma

Dear Immersive Emma,

First of all, you’ve come to the right place. The Slide Doctor is always over the moon to help educators like you — and I’m practically on cloud nine when I hear about teachers making their lessons more accessible for students!

When we dreamed up a Pear Deck integration with Immersive Reader, we wanted to improve accessibility, engagement, and comprehension for all students. Well, Immersive Reader aims to help with all that and then some — it’s a powerful tool for teaching grammar, sentence structure, and new vocabulary.

I just know in my core that you’re going to love using Immersive Reader with your class. Here are three best practices for an optimal Immersive Reader experience. The Slide Doctor prescribes...

Tip #1: A double dose of careful consideration

You already know that Immersive Reader renders text typed directly into your Google or PowerPoint Online slides. But did you realize it 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!

A slide that says chronology

Tip #2: A spoonful of space for multiple choice clarity

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. That’s why it’s downright essential to add the options onto the slide as text boxes as well. This ensures all students are able to utilize Immersive Reader’s capabilities and understand the options to choose from.

A slide that says where is chlorophyll found in a plant cell

Tip #3: A righteous regimen of reinforcement 

Rendering text from images can be a real pain in the neck. That’s why The Slide Doctor recommends you create a text box under those images to “reinforce” text, just as you might write a caption for a picture. Not only is this a helpful and meaningful practice — it also allows Immersive Reader to pick up text in your images!

And 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.”

A slide with a quote from Lucretius

Notice how the image above contains a quote that Immersive Reader wouldn’t be able to decipher. That’s why I wrote the quote out in white text to make it “invisible.” Now you’ll only see the “hidden” text when you highlight it!

The word "through" is highlighted in a sentance

Voila! Immersive Reader is able to pick up that text — even if our eyes can’t! That means your students will be able to break the quote into nouns, verbs and adjectives, ask for translation, and much more. Isn’t Immersive Reader magical?

What else does Immersive Reader do?

I thought you’d never ask! Immersive Reader increases fluency, builds confidence, and works especially well for students with dyslexia or visual impairments. It gives your students the ability to:

  • Increase text size and spacing
  • Change font and color
  • Show syllables and parts of speech
  • Translate words and entire documents into dozens of languages

Setting up Immersive Reader is a piece of cake.
To enable Immersive Reader, simply go to your Pear Deck Settings page and toggle the “on” switch. That’s it! Once that’s done, you can present your lesson as usual. (The Immersive Reader integration is a Pear Deck Premium feature.)

One click opens up a world of possibilities.
Immersive reader is easy and fun to use, and it allows your students to break down each sentence at their own pace. They’ll be able to speed up, slow down, analyze, change colors, and more.

The words "civilization" and "Crescent" are highlighted in green

Now that you know all the ins and outs of Immersive Reader, go out and try it for yourself! And remember — you can always join a Session as a “student” to see how Immersive Reader will work with your lesson! Good luck to you and your students, and don’t hesitate to ask the Slide Doctor if you have any other questions.

Illustration by Remy Usman

Looking for more help from the Slide Doctor?
Find the Slide Doctor’s remedies for Festive Frustration on our blog! You can also submit your question and slides to the Slide Doctor at with the Subject Line: Slide Doctor.More questions about Immersive Reader?You can always find step-by-step instructions in our Help Videos and Knowledge Base as well.

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Pear Deck Team

Helping teachers deliver powerful learning moments

Pear Deck

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