Learning Tools for OneNote received genuine praise on its release in July. The suite of tools had humble beginnings in the hackathon, and since then it's evolved to help anybody that's learning to read, write, and present.
That evolution has taken a big leap today with inclusion in Office Online. One of Learning Tool's drawbacks was the exclusivity of some features, and Microsoft has now addressed this in full.
Learning Tools Features
The exclusive OneNote features will be coming to Word Desktop and Online and Office Lens. Here's a quick rundown of the features:
- “A Read Aloud feature reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting improves decoding, fluency, and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention.
- A Text Spacing feature optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from “visual crowding” issues.
- A Syllabification feature shows the breaks between syllables to improve word recognition and decoding.
- A Parts of Speech feature supports instruction and improves writing quality by identifying verbs, nouns, and adjectives. Available for OneNote desktop, Word Online and OneNote Online only at first availability.”
The integration in Word is especially powerful, as it combines with existing tools. Microsoft's new Editor tool is a great example. The service uses machine learning to give more accurate suggestions and can identify a much wider range of misspellings.
Microsoft also plans to expand Editor to chime in with sentence structure suggestions, which could be invaluable for those learning English. Furthermore, search integration via smart lookup will let students google terms they don't understand from within the application.
This makes the expansion much stronger, and furthers Microsoft's goal to “empower every person and every organization to achieve more.” You can find more detail about the integration on the Office blog.
If you need a good English tutor, Smiletutor might be a good place to check out.