A new launch by Microsoft to help students with learning disabilities

Microsoft has recently launched Learning Tools, a OneNote add-on developed during the Microsoft Hackathon Competition in 2015. It was originally designed to aid students with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, and ensure digital inclusion to all those with learning differences in the classroom. It can, however, be useful to any student as the add-on claims to improve the writing and reading experience (for instance, through highlighting, voicing text, enhanced dictation, a focus mode to retain attention, spaced letters in a new font named Fluent Calibri that is expected to ease reading, among other features).

 Image Source: https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/19/learning-tools-for-onenote-improves-learning-for-all/

Image Source: https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/19/learning-tools-for-onenote-improves-learning-for-all/

Microsoft claims Learning Tools improves comprehension by 10% on average (Technet) and has stated that they will keep on researching ways to create a more inclusive classroom. The dictation features brought about by Learning Tools, however, require internet as the process relies on Bing to aid in the conversion of speech to text.

“By integrating into a tool already used in the classroom, the Learning Tools for OneNote make it easy for teachers to improve learning outcomes for all students, with less disruption or lost instructional time.” (OneNote)

You can download an Accessibility Guide for Educators here and a FAQ for Learning Tools can be found here.

Additional Sources: Winbeta, Forbes, The Verge, Microsoft Office Blog, Ubergizmo