Assistive Technology: Kurzweil 3000 provides support for all learners

Kurzweil 3000 is a web-based literacy support program for struggling readers.

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by Roxanne Hibberd

It is important for students to be able to access age-appropriate content because it allows them to work independently in class. Kurzweil 3000 is a program which provides text-to-speech accommodation so that students can read at or beyond their proficiency level. Students who have difficulty recognizing sight words can now feel confident in their reading fluency and accuracy.

Benefits:

  • The use of Kurzweil 3000 increases a student’s reading vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. The program helps students read the digital text and this support results in improvements in reading comprehension and vocabulary development.
  • The program was developed for struggling readers to help them read on their own. By providing the right accommodation, students who lack reading skills can read with more accuracy. Text-to-speech, translation, speaking word processor, and word prediction are examples of the supports available when using Kurzweil 3000.
  • There is an increase in student engagement and confidence because decoding errors are no longer reading barriers. Reading material is now accessible for all students because they can learn from the same text.

Challenges:

  • Kurzweil 3000 is used by students with learning disabilities in most schools. Students feel different from the others who are not using this program.
  • The use of Kurzweil 3000 can be time-consuming because the reading material needs to be scanned onto the technological device. Intensive training for staff and students is also required. 

Helpful Resources: 

A case study of how a teacher uses Kurweil 3000 to support students.

Getting started guide explains the uses and procedures of Kurzweil 3000.

An elementary school uses Kurzweil 3000 as a tool for all students

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Author: Roxanne Hibberd

Roxanne is a principal in YRDSB. She has enjoyed being an educator for the past thirty-five years. Her passion for lifelong learning continues as she is a student in the UOIT MEd program.

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