Princeton Pilots Early Literacy AppRecently, Renee Seward had an opportunity to present to Kevin Larson who works with Microsoft’s Learning Tools.

Kevin Larson is a psychologist who has been working for Microsoft in different capacities since 1996. His specialty areas are cognitive psychology, word recognition and reading acquisition. He joined the ClearType team in 2002 to help get a better scientific understanding of the benefits of reading technologies with the goal of achieving a great on-screen reading experience.

Through mutual connections at the University of Cincinnati, Renee connected with Kevin to share more about the See Word Reading Literacy App for students and teachers. Kevin’s work at Microsoft involves technology and learning about anything that can help dyslexic or other at risk readers.

The University Ecosystem at Work

The University of Cincinnati’s Technology Accelerator for Commercialization and many professors, staff and administrators within the University of Cincinnati system help make connections such as these. These introductions are part of the ecosystem of technology and business advancement taking place at UC today.

Renee shared her See Word Reading’s engaging touch-screen technology as well as future ideas and tools with Kevin. He felt the product was well researched in issues surrounding struggling readers. He was complimentary of the way it supported addressing those issues.

Microsoft Literacy Tools Today

Here’s a look at some of the cool literacy technology that you may not even know exists today from Microsoft:


Learning Tools and Immersive Reader updated for OneNote, Word and Outlook


Young students working on Windows devices in a school library.

Educators have been seeing great outcomes in using Microsoft Learning Tools for their students over the past year. We’ve heard from Lauren Pittman’s class in Georgia, Jeanne Caudill’s students in Kentucky, and an English Teacher in Macedonia. Spurred by their great feedback, our team wants to empower even more students around the world with inclusive and accessible technology, and so we’re excited to announce new capabilities in Office 365 for Education below.

Steve Crapnell, eLearning Coordinator at the All Hallows School in Brisbane, Australia, is another educator who has been working with students and using Microsoft Learning Tools over the past year.  Here is what Steve had to say about a recent experience:

“I have just finished helping a parent with a little girl in Year 7, quite challenged with numerous learning difficulties, who can now, through the use of Learning Tools, actively engage in reading assignments.  She is so rapt! “

Alongside excitement from parents and students,  Steve describes the educator reaction from a recent professional development session he led on Learning Tools:

“The reaction from the 60 teachers was quite overwhelming and they felt quite strongly that Learning Tools was not an innovation to be investigated, but a necessity that should be mandated.  They felt that this was a social justice issue and that the availability of such tools like Learning Tools should, and will, receive greater focus and Professional Development in their own school.  In a nutshell, they loved it. “

Let’s cover what’s new with Learning Tools for Microsoft Word and Immersive Reader.


Use Learning Tools while writing with Microsoft Word


Word now lets you access Learning Tools features while you edit or write your document. Learning Tools adds visual changes as a layer on top of the original document, so you can feel confident working on your document and know that it will print as normal, while co-authors can still edit the document in the original view.  To open the new Learning Tools contextual menu, simply choose the View tab and then click the Learning Tools button.




Author: Margee Moore is a freelance marketing and project management professional at BigOrange.Marketing. She is pleased to be supporting the See Word Reading with project management and marketing support. 

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