Kurzweil Educational Systems Introduces Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh Version 3

Kurzweil Educational Systems introduced Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh Version 3, reading, writing and learning software for struggling students, at the 22nd annual Closing the Gap conference.

The release broadens the Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh product line by adding a new network edition that enables more students access to Kurzweil 3000 across a network. In addition, new writing, vocabulary-building and document preparation features have been added in Version 3 to both the network and standalone editions.

By using "floating" licenses, students using Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh have immediate access to reading, writing and reference tools from any computer on their school's network. Students can also access their personal files and user settings, regardless of which Macintosh computer on the network they are using. For IT administrators, the network edition of Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh tracks the number of licenses in use at any given time and limits concurrent use to the number of licenses purchased.

For a number of years, schools have been investing in technology infrastructure, including computer networks, in order to make computers an integral part of classroom activities throughout a school. Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh Version 3 is designed to take advantage of such an environment and allow schools to maximize their investment.

As with previous releases of Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh, Version 3 includes support for the latest Mac OS X platform. In addition, Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh provides users with a host of decoding, writing and study skills tools as well as unique test-taking capabilities that allow students to independently complete worksheets, quizzes, classroom exams or standardized tests. The new features offered by both the standalone and network editions of Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh Version 3 include:

  1. Word Prediction
    The Word Prediction feature gives students who might otherwise have spelling, keyboarding or expressive writing challenges the ability to type the beginning letters of a word, see a list of word choices and click on individual words in the list to hear possible choices before selecting the one they want. Students and teachers can add new words to Word Prediction and the Phonetic Prediction option offers the correct spelling alternatives to common phonetic spelling errors (e.g. typing "fon" will give the word "phone" among others as a choice).
  2. Vocabulary Lists
    The Vocabulary List feature is valuable for teaching or learning new words.
    New content- or curriculum-specific lists can be created to help individualize instruction and even be used in conjunction with the word predictor so students can start using new vocabulary words in their writing assignments. In addition, students can also choose from included vocabulary lists such as homophones (e.g. "two" versus "to") or confusables (e.g. "edition" versus "addition") to assist in the writing process.
  3. Document Preparation
    After scanning documents or opening electronic files in Kurzweil 3000, defining the proper reading order of paragraphs and other items such as sidebars or photo captions is key to keeping students focused. The Zone Editing feature allows students or teachers to specify how Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh handles blocks of text (or zones) in an image document. Users can change the order in which portions of text are read or even skip reading selected portions altogether. For example, it may be helpful to students if photo captions, graphs, sidebars and page numbers are designated as secondary text, which Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh reads only when a reader clicks on it.

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