2006 Conference General Sessions

The Measure of Demonstrating Knowledge: Using Technology to Assist with Writing

Presenter #1

David Bradburn
Kurzweil Educational Systems Street Address: 100 Crosby Drive
Bedford
MA
01730

Country: USA
Day phone: 781.276.0600
Fax: 781.276.065
Email: davidb@kurzweiledu.com J SE


See how Kurzweil 3000 allows students to conoentrate on the content of what they write and to independently demonstrate their knowledge through the writing process.

Students with learning disabilities often struggle to understand spoken and written language. Because of the nature of their difficulties, students struggle with many school- related tasks, including reading, spelling, composition, organization, and handwriting, and as a result, are frequently frustrated with their assigned work. Written assignments are often not even attempted by students who struggle with the mechanics of writing, who have a limited vocabulary or word finding and retrieval problems, and who have
difficulties organizing their thoughts. Even highly motivated students with learning disabilities with strong verbal skills often struggle to put their thoughts on paper in a
clear and concise manner. These problems are often compounded by poor fine motor skills and poor handwriting.
Writing is intrinsic to the learning process. Through writing, students commit new information to memory, allowing them to analyze, integrate and synthesize their knowledge. Frequently, educators use a writing task to assess what students have learned. For some struggling students, the use of common technology has simplified some of the frustration of writing. Powerful word processors with spell checkers and grammar checkers provide two tools to alleviate some of the problems. Simply the shift from using paper and pencil to a keyboard has improved legibility and quality of written expression for many students. But, for other students, more help is needed.
This session will provide an overview of Kurzweil 30000 the premier reading, writing and learning software for struggling students. Because Kurzweil 3000 is also content independent, teachers in elementary, middle and secondary schools alike use it to help students succeed in the classroom regardless of their curriculum.
Kurzweil 3000 includes many features to support the writing process. Pre-writing supports like bookmarks, extractable highlights and notes allow students to brainstorm, and to indicate important facts and integrate pertinent information into new documents. The writing toolbar includes basic word processing tools and more. Words and sentences are spoken as they are typed. Reference tools, including digital dictionaries (in multiple languages) and a thesaurus are readily available. Vocabulary lists are customizable and content-specific. The word prediction feature contains homophone and confusable word support, as well as customizable vocabulary support.
Teachers and students using Kurzweil 3000 for writing assistance actually see an increase in writing output, as well an improvement in syntax, grammar, sentence structure and spelling. Organization improves as students make the connection from study skills strategies to writing performance. Vocabulary development improves, and word finding/retrieval problems are minimized through the word study supports.
Kurzweil 3000 technology gives struggling students the tools to become independent
readers, writers and thinkers. Kurzweil 3000 allows students to concentrate their energies
n the content of what they write and to independently integrate and demonstrate their knowledge through the writing process. Educators are better able to assess what and how their struggling students are learning through more consistent output, and students have access to an incredibly important strategy for learning, as well as for independently demonstrating their knowledge. In addition, the product is proving instrumental for both classroom and standardized assessments. Educators can measure students true abilities with Kurzweil 30000s unigue, customizable testing accommodations conforming to individual IEP requirements, learning styles and preferences. .


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