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Kurzweil Brings Text Reader to iPad

Kurzweil 3000 is software developed to help students in grades 3 and up who have difficulty with reading, writing, and study skills. It was created using the concept of Universal Design for Learning. According to the National Center on Universal Design, UDL "provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs."

The firefly iPad app allows teachers and students to use the Kurzweil 3000 learning tools anywhere there is Internet access. The app is free to current Kurzweil 3000 customers.

The app lets users select fast, normal or slower reading speeds; word, line, sentence, or paragraph selection; continuous, self-paced or word by word modes; one of five voices, in English, Spanish, and British accents; and whether the toolbar is placed on the top or bottom of the screen.

Features of Kurzweil 3000 include:

  • Access to materials from publishers from and Project Gutenberg in a variety of subject areas, including classic literature, history, and science;
  • Highlighting of screen text in two colors (with a choice of six), annotations, voice notes, and bookmarks;
  • Access to syllables, synonyms, and word and picture bilingual dictionaries;
  • Audible spell checker and word predictor; and
  • Bubble Notes, which let teachers add questions and directions to students' reading.

Other components of Kurzweil 3000 include a talking word processor, writing templates, and fill-in-the-blanks tool.

For more information, visit or download the app at the iTunes Store.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.