Kurzweil 3000 and Kurzweil Firefly

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Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil is a powerful program that converts textbooks, articles, and other documents into files that can be displayed on a screen and read to the user. Courtesy of Webster University's site license, students can download the program directly to their PC or Mac computers.

Users can highlight, circle words or phrases, and take notes directly on the screen. Users can also compose documents in the program as well as create outlines and graphic organizers. A built-in dictionary, thesaurus, spell-checker, and pronunciation feature are also included, and Kurzweil recognizes several major languages. Note: Not all literary features are available on the Mac version of the program.

In addition, Kurzweil has a web-reading feature. Users complete a brief installation process to add a Kurzweil tool bar to the web browser. Kurzweil will then read webpages when the feature is activated.

  • Who Might Benefit: Students with certain visual impairments, reading challenges, learning differences, ESL concerns, or test anxiety
  • Location: The Academic Resource Center, the Emerson Library, and the Sverdrup Computer Lab 206
  • Training: About 30-45 minutes

Below is a selection of reference tools for using Kurzweil.

Kurzweil Firefly

Kurzweil Firefly is online access to the Kurzweil program. No download is required to use Firefly on a computer, and a free app is available in the iTunes store for tablet users. Students may access their Kurzweil accounts from anywhere. Firefly allows users to read books and other documents already stored in their Kurzweil accounts. Users may also access documents stored on Google Drive or their computers. Additionally, users may access Bookshare if they have accounts with that organization. The highlighting tool is available, but users are unable to take notes or create documents via Firefly.

Click here for Firefly user instructions.