Make Photos Speak In Multiple Languages

There is technology that allows you to take a photo of a poster, book, page from a magazine, etc. then convert it to text. From there it can be read aloud, translated, and read aloud in the translated language. It can also be brought into a word processing program for editing in the translated language to increase accuracy.

Here are some ways this technology makes content accessible to learners: 

  • Visually impaired learners can hear the content read
  • Learners who are not reading at the level of the text can have the content read to them
  • Learners for whom English is not their first language can have the content translated. It can also be read to them in their language.

How To:

Here is how this works:
First, on your phone, take the photo in Office Lens (opens in new tab). Then save it to OneNote (opens in new tab)

Next, go to your computer and open OneNote (opens in new tab). Then, follow these steps: 

OneNote online screenshot

  • Go to “View” in the menu
  • Select “Immersive Reader”
  • o   This converts the photo into text
  • Go to the bottom of the screen a select the play arrow
  • o   This reads the text
  • Select “Reading Preferences” in the top right part of your screen
  • Go to “Translate”
  • Pick a language
  • Select “Document”
  • o   Now your document is translated
  • You can go to the bottom of the screen and select the play arrow to hear the document read aloud

Here is a demonstration:

Your turn

What do you think? Is this something you might use with your students? How do you see using it?

Lisa Nielsen (opens in new tab) (@InnovativeEdu (opens in new tab)) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator (opens in new tab). Nielsen is the author of several books (opens in new tab)and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times (opens in new tab),The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal (opens in new tab).   

Lisa Nielsen (opens in new tab) (@InnovativeEdu (opens in new tab)) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator (opens in new tab). Nielsen is the author of several books (opens in new tab) and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.