2004 Conference Proceedings

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KURZWEIL 3000: ACCOMMODATING STUDENT NEEDS IN HIGH STAKES TESTING

Presenter(s)
David Bradburn
Kurzweil Educational Systems
14 Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 781.276.0600
Fax: 781.276.0650
Email: davidb@kurzweiledu.com

Joan Cunningham
Kurzweil Educational Systems
510 Holly St.
Denver, CO 80220
Phone: 303.903.3677
Fax: 720.941.9360
Email: joan@kurzweiledu.com

Since 1996, Kurzweil 3000 has led the industry in providing access to content area text for students with learning and reading disabilities. Incorporating the leading technologies for optical character recognition (OCR) and synthesized speech, as well as patented dual highlighting and easy access to word support features including definitions, synonyms, syllabication and spelling, and study skills tools for highlighting and annotation, students and teachers can structure and organize text from virtually any source to ensure learning and retention. These very same tools are also being used in classroom and high stakes testing situations around the country to give students the opportunity to demonstrate what they know. Students can independently take any classroom or standardized test, any question format, and perform at their peak capabilities.

Massachusetts, Maryland, Ontario, and the Department of Defense Dependent Schools have all approved Kurzweil 3000 as a reading and testing accommodation for high stakes testing. Many other states list text to speech as an allowable accommodation, and are considering Kurzweil 3000 to meet that need. There is so much at stake here, not just in terms of federal dollars and public perception, but for our teachers and schools, and the futures of many, many bright students who struggle with decoding and comprehension. Technology is an intrinsic part of today's - and tomorrow's - world. We should offer struggling students their chance to demonstrate what they know at every juncture. Potentially, they will be using technology throughout the course of their lives to comprehend text, for both personal and professional reasons. Technology will continue to become more and more intrinsic to the fabric of society. Who is to say what tools an individual may or may not use to manage their daily lives?

Features and benefits that will be emphasized include:

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how the Virtual Printer enables teachers to open files created in any application (Word, Adobe Acrobat, TIF, Daessy) and use them with the Kurzweil 3000.

  2. List the steps needed to ensure that the test will be read correctly.

  3. Describe how to access the Test Taking toolbar and customize options to enable or disable reference aids like the dictionary, synonyms list and spell checker.

  4. Explain to students how to adjust reading speed and font size to meet their needs.

  5. Insert instructions for the student in the form of annotations or voice notes.

  6. Describe how to use the Kurzweil 3000 to answer the full range of question formats, including fill in the blank, true and false, short answer and essay.

  7. Use the Zone Editor to optimize reading order or to remove unwanted text.

  8. Describe a variety of ways for students to submit their answers, depending on the requirements.


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