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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

kurzweil, palsprogram, read and write gold


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Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 36
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Posted Feb 01, 2006 at 4:12:29 AM
Subject: kurzweil, palsprogram, read and write gold

I just attended the TRLD conference and I'm glad I did.

Have you used the following products? Any feedback? I'd rather hear from real users ; )

Kurzweil 3000 http://www.kurzweiledu.com/

Palsprogram http://www.palsprogram.com/

Read and Write Gold http://www.texthelp.com/products.asp?q1=products

Thanks!

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Feb 01, 2006 9:06:53 AM

My dd uses Kurzweil 3000 and LOVES it. Its really made a difference in her ability to do her work independently, she is able to access text books at grade level that she really couldn't do on her own and she is writing so much more with the word prediction portion. The highlighting features are coming in very handy with the text books and looking up specific information.

She's only been using it since October at school but she's produced and completed more assignments this year than any year previously.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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KTJ
Joined Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 223

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Posted:Feb 01, 2006 3:39:14 PM

I have used Kurzweil 3000, WYNN and Read and Write Gold. They each have their advantages but they are all talking word processors with incredible capabilities. What I like best about Read and Write Gold is that it is less expensive than the other two programs and includes speech recognition. Also, it works within Word which is very important as students what to work within programs that their peers are using. You don't need to have a separate window open when you open the application.
These kinds of programs make the curriculum accessible to kids with learning disabilities. My son uses Kurzweil 3000 because that's what the school provided and he uses it often (in fact he's listening to Catcher in the Rye with it right now for homework.)

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Feb 02, 2006 5:07:59 PM

I do find the Read & Write Gold voices to be inferior (my students really don't like how they sound). I'm trying to get more students to use it ... but I honestly don't think they'd use Kurzweil any more.

I was at TRLD too - WordQ and SpeakQ are really exciting!. I didn't get a chance to see all the upgrades in TextHelp - but it looks like they have really worked at bringing in some of the advantageso f the other programs (like highlighting in different colors).

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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KTJ
Joined Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 223

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Posted:Feb 02, 2006 5:12:45 PM

Sue,
I have NeoSpeech Paul and Kate on my computer so they show up on the list of voices within Read and Write Gold. It is possible for me to select either of those voices which I believe are excellent quality computer voices - do not sound robotic like Microsoft Mary, Sam etc.

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Feb 02, 2006 6:17:27 PM

The voice quality can definitely make a difference. I know that was one thing ms. 14 was very picky about. One thing we looked for was voice quality and another was looking at availability to use other voices. I found a place where you can hear a sample of the different voices - http://www.nextup.com/TextAloud/SpeechEngine/voices.html - Ms. 14 likes the AT&T voice, Mike.

The student I tutor likes NeoSpeech's Paul. It definitely helps to give a listen to the different ones available.

Ms. 14's first word prediction program was WordQ. She liked it but said the options list was too short. (She has a huge list with Kurzweil, which can mean less typing for her.) I've tried it with my student and he liked it as well. It has some new options that can be really helpful.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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KTJ
Joined Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 223

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Posted:Feb 02, 2006 6:26:59 PM

Scifi,
Did you know that you can customize the length of the word prediction list with WordQ? You can also customize the font and the font size which is a great feature.
Returning back to voices, it is so important to offer choices and let the student customize what works best for them in terms of voice quality AND speed.

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Feb 02, 2006 7:49:50 PM

Yes, I know that you can change the size of the word list but I've never been able to get it to go past 9. With Kurzweil, Ms. 14 can have as many as will fit on the screen. (Right now thats about 25. LOL)

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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MM
Joined Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 36

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Posted:Feb 03, 2006 6:02:18 PM
Subject:SpeakQ

Hi Sue,

When I visited the SpeakQ booth the guy that demonstrated said "vertebrate" but it came out wrong on the computer. He did say that it's because the environment was noisy, which is true. I'm so new at this technology. What's the state of the voice recognition softwares? Are they close to perfecting it?

Thanks.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Feb 04, 2006 9:49:40 PM

it would make sense that they'd upgrade that ;-)
there's a good thread on Read & Write Gold and ReadQ and Speak Q on QIAT. The Q's are very streamlined & simplified (which of course can be good or bad, depending on your needs).

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Malkagigot
Joined Mar 15, 2006
Posts: 7

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Posted:Mar 15, 2006 6:10:17 PM

My 18 yr old daughter uses Texthelp Read & Write Gold at college. It is fantastic, but, I feel she needs Kurzweil 3000 because she has a workbook that she can't get in alternate formate, so the publisher said IF she could scan it with a scanner into Kurzweil & listen to it in her laptop with Kurzweil that would be the way to go! Then the charts and everything on the pages would remain the same. I don't see how she can purchase Kurzweil at this time, so it looks like I bought the 2 workbooks for the course for nothing. The textbook for the course was available in alternate text format, but for kids like ours, workbooks are critical, especially if the student is willing to do the work. The textbook was required for the course, but I suppose the workbook is just considered " available for some kids." This is so frustrating for us.

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KTJ
Joined Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 223

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Posted:Mar 15, 2006 6:26:06 PM

Read and Write Gold includes scanning as well. It scans as a PDF which is better than Kurzweil in some situations.

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Malkagigot
Joined Mar 15, 2006
Posts: 7

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Posted:Mar 15, 2006 6:30:35 PM

Do you mean she should try scanning pages from the workbook using her read & write gold as a PDF? Will the charts for accounting show up the same? I'll call her & have her try this.

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