K3000 (Windows Vs. 15)
[Kurzweil Education (800) 894-5374]
Kurzweil 3000 (K3000) is a comprehensive learning tool that supports students with reading, writing/composition, study skills and test-taking, and allows for differentiated instruction. Its use of assistive technology (text-to-speech) makes it effective for children of all skill levels and abilities, including those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or ADD/ADHD. Students struggling with reading and writing, English Language Learners and those who prefer audio access to digital text will benefit from this program.
High quality text-to-speech capability (incorporating human-like NeoSpeech synthesizer voices) is K3000's primary feature (the digital voices have characteristics such as inflection and emotion, which are important for conveying aspects of context). The program uses advanced optical character recognition (OCR), making it possible to bring any document into the program via digital scanning. Scanned files are saved in .kes file format. The program can also recognize .pdf, .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, and .html documents which can be opened/converted and saved as .kes files.
A study skills tool palette opens automatically when K3000 is launched. Available are the selector tool, eraser tool, text highlighters (6 colors), text circle tool, as well as the footnote, voice note, sticky note, text note, bubble note and bookmarks tools. The user clicks on a tool icon to grab the tool, then moves the curser to the desired place in the document to insert the text note, select text to highlight, etc. These inserts will be saved with the document. Users can highlight any word and can pull up a dialog box that provides the word's definition, synonym, syllables (with phonetic pronunciation) and spelling.
Key study skills supported include pre-reading and vocabulary, active reading and listening, recognition and formulation of main ideas at paragraph and multi-paragraph levels, outlining and note taking, note revision, summarizing and paraphrasing. Vocabulary supports are critical to help struggling readers improve comprehension, enabling better concept identification and inference capabilities.
Perhaps the primary composition support offered in K3000 is the talking wordprocessor. The kesireader reads back what the user types as it is being typed, whether it is in a document or text note, providing users with audible spell-check, and allowing them to make corrections. We should mention K3000 provides access to over 1,800 classic literature texts, as well as American Heritage Dictionaries and others.
An important feature for teachers is the ability to add supplementary text notes into a text for student reference, or use bubble notes to insert multiple choice questions that students can answer directly. In this way, bubble notes can be utilized for test-taking. Teachers can also scan worksheets, and students can complete the worksheet by adding content via text notes.
We are delighted to see the new enhancements which make K3000 more effective and intuitive. These include the new start screen, which acts as a roadmap to get students where they need to go faster - from opening an assignment to starting a writing draft, or simply picking up where they left off; and there is now the ability to customize the reading controls and toolbars.
Versions of the application are available for Macintosh and Windows platforms, and include a Network Edition, Web License Edition and Standalone Edition. A free 30-day trial version is available on the Kurzweil Education website.