Kurzweil 3000 is software available free of charge to all current Red River College students and staff. It was originally designed as text-to-speech software, but does so, so much more! This assistive technology is based on the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which aims to present information to learners in a way that is accessible to as many people as possible. The UDL framework aims to have information be presented, and allow learners to interact with content in a variety of ways in order to reach learners of all styles.
Have you noticed that with online courses you experience increased eye strain or headaches? Do you find that simply reading is not enough for you to fully retain information? Are you an auditory learner who learns best by hearing rather than reading? Is English not your first language? Or do you like multi-tasking and want to listen to some of your course content while walking your dog or riding the bus? This is where Kurzweil 3000 comes in! Kurzweil 3000 is not only able to read text out loud, including content on the internet and in LEARN, but it also helps students interact with course content in a variety of ways. …and remember, it is free to use, so why not give it a try?!
Features of Kurzweil
Read: as text-to-speech software, Kurzweil will read content on the internet and files stored on your computer out loud, it has different languages built in, which can aid students where English is not their first language; Kurzweil also helps engage students with visual cues of what is being read.
Comprehend: Kurzweil has features beyond text-to-speech software that help students engage with the content they are reading – multi-colour highlighters, sticky notes, hyperlinks and voice notes (just as some examples) – these features can also be used to help students create their own study notes which Kurzweil can then read back to them!
Write: Kurzweil also has tools built in to help students organize their thoughts, and brainstorm for written assignments through the use of brainstorm templates and graphic organizers.
Study: students can use Kurzweil to create their own study notes, or create their own practice tests to help with studying and test prep.
If you would like to register to use the software, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Send the email out of your RRC academic or work email
- Include your first and last name
- As well as your RRC student number (for students)
- Guide to Kurzweil
- Adjusting audio options, keyboard shortcuts, & how to change background/text colour in Windows
- User settings in Mac
- Read the Web Extension (this video is specific to the Chrome extension, but the process, and functions, are the same regardless of if you’re using Chrome or Firefox)
- Writing templates
- Graphic organizers
- Active vs. Passive Learning in Kurzweil – Using the highlighters, adding your own text, and extracting your own note files
- Using Kurzweil 3000 to Support Different Learning Styles