Kurzweil Educational Rolls Out Professional Development Program
BEDFORD, MA - Kurzweil Educational Systems, innovator of reading technology products for individuals with learning and visual disabilities, announced the rollout of the Kurzweil 3000 Professional Development Program (PDP). The PDP is a training program designed to help school districts and educators effectively integrate Kurzweil 3000 into today's classrooms. Additionally, teachers can benefit by submitting the program 'certificate of completion' to their state to apply for Continuing Educational Units (CEUs). Hands-on basic and advanced workshops are available in half-day and full-day formats for groups of approximately twenty individuals. The first PDP workshops were conducted last month for approximately 80 teachers at Chicago Public Schools in Chicago, Illinois. The Kurzweil 3000 PDP is designed to train educators to integrate Kurzweil 3000 into the classroom and to adapt its use to different learning styles to boost individual student achievement. Two leading educational and assistive technology experts, Scott Marfilius and Kelly Fonner, developed the course content in conjunction with Kurzweil Educational Systems. The Kurzweil 3000 Professional Development Program will be continually updated to reflect product feature updates as well as new research and practices. Educators who are trained and authorized by Kurzweil Educational will deliver the workshops "The PDP allows educators to take full advantage of Kurzweil 3000's unique and powerful features, including integrated test-taking, study skills tools, the ability to read text from virtually any source, including the web, and writing assistance to give students both increased independence and a sense of inclusion in their classes," explained Kelly Fonner, Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant. "In the workshops, teachers learn to apply Kurzweil 3000 product features to meet a variety of student needs, so that they spend less time on student intervention and administration, and more time on instruction." The basic workshop is targeted at quickly getting special education and general education teachers acquainted and comfortable with Kurzweil 3000 technology, and to begin applying what they have learned to common difficulties encountered in today's classrooms. It will also introduce teachers to the product's reading features, writing supports, study skills tools, test taking and scanning. The advanced workshop is designed for educators who have been using Kurzweil 3000 for some time, and are ready to take their skills to the next level. In the advanced workshop, participants learn to customize Kurzweil 3000, to access the Internet with the product, to do text and zone editing, learn about curricular supports, and to manage student files. Both of the full-day workshops include time for participants to apply their learning to text materials in use within their school or district. In all the workshops, educators examine and discuss a variety of student profiles to help them apply Kurzweil 3000 features contextually. "The hands-on training provided as part of the PDP workshops gave us the opportunity to experiment with classroom assignments under the guidance of an expert," said Sue Renzella of the Marshall County Board of Education in West Virginia, one of the districts that participated in field-testing the Kurzweil 3000 PDP program. "The collaborative approach gave us a real jumpstart on the different approaches and ways to make classroom materials come alive for students challenged with reading and writing."