2006 Conference General Sessions




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

Day Phone: 781-276-0600
Fax: 781-276-0650
Email: davidb@kurzweiledu.com SEP28 2U05

Students with reading and learning disabilities struggle to understand and learn from text, as a result of problems with decoding, reading fluency, vocabulary and/or comprehension. Oftentimes, spelling, composing, handwriting, organizational skills, and study skills are impacted as well. These same students are typically frustrated in the traditional content area classroom, as demonstrated by their failure or under—achievement. But, they can learn and experience success when provided with appropriate learning supports.

Kurzweil 3000 is the premier reading, writing and learning software for struggling students. Because it is also content—independent, teachers in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges alike use it to help students succeed in the classroom regardless of their curriculum or lesson plan.

Kurzweil 3000 features have been developed specifically to support student in their interactions with text. The tools can be used by teachers to scaffold supports for diverse needs, and then by students to help them make sense of what they have read. Students learn to look for main ideas and supporting details, to create study guides, to increase their vocabulary — to integrate what they have read with what they already know.

In this workshop, participants will approach Kurzweil 3000 from the educator and the student perspectives. Kurzweil 3000 takes text from virtually any source — a textbook, the web, a PDF file, a Word document — and simultaneously reads it back to the student using a patented dual highlighting system. Students are always looking at an exact page image, so what they see on the computer screen looks exactly like what their peers are seeing on paper. Word study supports are available on the toolbar so they can check for definitions and synonyms, have individual words decoded and syllabicated or spelled out loud.

Teachers can provide prompts and notes to students using a variety of annotation tools. A sticky note can be placed at the top of the page with the assignment; a footnote can be left with a study question at the start of a paragraph where the answer can be found; a voice note can be left reminding students that the test is on Tuesday and what it will cover.

Using the highlight and extract features, teachers can teach their entire classroom to search for headings, main ideas, and supporting details to formulate study guides and outlines. As students become more independent learners, they can use these same annotation tools to track their assignments, to answer chapter questions and complete assignments, and to formulate meaning from text to support their learning.

Worksheets, tests, and job applications can easily be completed using the writing and annotation features of Kurzweil 3000. Students can hear the questions and their answers cad back to them in context, providing an auditory check of their work. A spell checker and vocabulary lists with homophones and confusable words help to support writing, and content specific vocabulary lists can easily be added.

Kurzweil 3000 provides universal access to text for the range of diverse learners in today’s classrooms; with Kurzweil 3000, struggling students can read, write, and learn independently and do so at grade level!

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