2006 Conference General Sessions

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IS YOUR STATE DOING EVERYTHING TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD IN OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT

Presenter(s)

Joan Cunningham
Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc.
100 Crosby Drive
Bedford MA 01730

Day Phone: 781.276.0600
Fax: 781.276.0650
Email: joan@kurzweiledu.com

See how Kurzweil 3000 is the product of choice for testing in many school districts and how you can make it happen in your state.

The mechanics of reading, writing, and communicating should not be a barrier to accessing the curriculum, nor should it be a barrier to demonstrating understanding of the curriculum. Teachers routinely employ technology to accommodate their struggling students in content area classrooms. Why would we not allow students to access that same technology in the high stakes test environment? Several states have approved, or •are in the process of approving, Kurzweil 3000 for outcomes assessment. Join us for the latest update across the country.

The features of Kurzweil 3000 provide struggling students with the tools they need to elicit meaning from text. Students see an exact image of the original text on the computer screen. The units and words are read back to them simultaneously as the patented dual lighting system focuses their attention on each word as it is read. Word study supports are readily available on the tool bar, including multiple dictionaries, a thesaurus, a syllabication tool and a word speller to assist students with decoding and vocabulary building. The study skills tool bar provides highlighters and annotation toois for interacting with the text to construct meaning. Writing is supported with basic word processing functions, a spell checker, and word prediction that includes multiple vocabulary lists based on the student’s vocabulary usage. Homophones and confusable words are stressed, and content specific vocabulary lists can easily be added to aid the writing process in each subject area.
Worksheets, classroom quizzes and tests, and job applications can all easily be completed using the writing and annotation features of Kurzweil 3000. But did you know that all of these same features can also enhance student performance in high stakes testing?
Kurzweil 3000 provides a dynamic and secure environment for testing, whether in the classroom or on high stakes achievement tests. Rather than using a human reader, students can independently take their classroom tests or standardized tests, and indicate their answers electronically. Students with accommodations can easily answer fill—in—the--blanks, multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay and other test forms while using a customized selection of writing tools, comprehension aids and visual modifications. Tests can also be individualized to meet each learner’s needs by adjusting the reading rate or font size, repeating questions as often as the student chooses, answering questions using either typed or spoken annotations, and proof reading their work by having questions and answers read back in context. Tools that are not appropriate in the test environment can be turned off or removed altogether, and password protected.
Because Kurzweil 3000 is so flexible and can accommodate a very diverse spectrum of reading and learning needs, it is the product of choice for testing in many school districts and states. A basic overview of the features that are pertinent to testing will e provided, followed by an update on the states Kurzweil Educational Systems has been working with. The discussion will include what experience has shown to be successful in most situations, and how you can make it happen in your state.


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