NEW: Kurzweil 3000 Chrome App and Extension
Kurzweil has totally redesigned its web reading tools and released a Chrome app, too: Read the Web 3.0 extension for Chrome web browser and Kurzweil 3000 Chrome App. Both are available as a free download for Kurzweil 3000+firefly web license subscribers. They deliver not only better functionality for any user of the Chrome browser but even more powerful Kurzweil 3000 tools for Chromebooks too.
Read the Web 3.0
Read the Web 3.0 is an extension for the popular Chrome web browser from Google. It’s a discreet easy to navigate tool bar that adds essential reading supports to web pages:
- Read with text-to-speech and highlight tracking
- Customizable reading units: word, sentence paragraph
- Instant access to 3 different dictionaries
- Choose from 3 reading modes: continuous, self-paced and word-by-word
- Support in 17 languages and dialects with 30 natural text-to-speech voices
In playing with RtW, we’ve found the reading function very fast and responsive. This is because most of Read the Web 3.0’s functionality is installed on the local computer. So this Kurzweil tool doesn’t have to capture text and send it to a server to read the text.
So if your students don’t always have access to fast internet, everywhere they read, all the time -- because of dead zones, traffic jams, or outages at school or at home -- they should still be able to use their RtW tool.
Read the Web 3.0 extension can be added to any Chrome browser on any device a web license subscriber uses – Windows, Mac, Chromebook even Linux or Android.
K3000 Chrome App
For highlighting, extracting text and writing on a Chromebook with a K3000 web license, Kurzweil has also introduced their new the K3000 Chrome App. This has all the functionality of the new web based firefly (for a detailed description of the latest functions and features in the redesigned firefly READ this Blog post) but packaged in an independent Chrome App. This isn’t just handy for Chromebook users, but anyone who is surfing for information on the net through a browser and also wants to work in firefly.
I can imagine a student reading an electronic version of a novel and looking up references on the web. Or researching on the web with the new Read the Web tool, while writing and taking notes via firefly.
Privacy and Security
With more reliance of schools on the cloud, privacy and security has come up as questions. In the case of both RtW and the K3000 Chrome App, the text you’re reading and what site it came from is not sent to Kurzweil’s servers to be read aloud. That key functionality happens on the local computer.