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Learning Tools in OneNote

by Shirley Lawson

on Thu Jul 07, 2016

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In my webinar ‘Using Cloud Based Tools to Support Learners with ASN’ first broadcast on 25 May 2016 I talked about the use of the new Microsoft OneNote add-in called Learning Tools. They are an example of universal design:  one solution that makes reading, writing and comprehension easier for everyone.  (as long as you have the correct computer specs – see end of article for details)

They are definitely worth a try. Have a look at the video to see what Learning Tools are and how they can help someone with either literacy difficulties or low vision.

Immersive reader

The Immersive reader helps you focus on the content of your OneNote documents and provides text to speech with highlighting of each word spoken back. Nouns, verbs and adjectives in the text can be highlighted in a colour that corresponds to the button clicked e.g. the Nouns button is purple and all nouns in the text will appear in purple when it is clicked. The Syl-la-bles button enables syllabification of the text which improves word recognition and there is an option to show sub clauses which can help with comprehension.

e.g. The tree house was less shady in the winter <when all the leaves fell off the trees>. Why was the tree house less shady in the winter?  The answer is now clearly identified in the sub clause.

In Settings there are viewing options for:

  • text size
  • spacing
  • fonts and colour themes.

And you can change the voice (to the Scottish voice of course!) and rate of speech under the Speech menu.

Dictation

The Dictate button allows you to talk directly to the computer (via a headset) to input text into OneNote.  This speech recognition tool uses Windows Cortana and it works very well – 100% accuracy for me as I write notes for this blog post. You need to sign in with Microsoft account details the first time you use it but after that it’s all set to go.

OneNote is extremely useful to help with organisational skills and now with the assistive Learning tools this is looking like a valuable tool for students with an additional support needs. As it is cloud based, work done at school on a mobile / tablet / computer can be accessed at home using the same Microsoft account. 

It will not work with OneNote Online which is the app available through Glow’s Office 365. The Learning Tools add-in requires a Windows 10 operating system and OneNote 2013 or 2016.  It will not work on a Mac.

Information and download details

Tags: onenote, learning tools, dyslexia

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