Technology Lab

The Learning Center's Technology Lab offers several software and hardware tools to assist students with their coursework. Software programs are available to help students with reading, writing, and organizing information. Students assistants are available in the Technology Lab to demonstrate how the programs work and instruct new users.

Regular Semester Hours

Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hours are subject to modification during holidays, final exams, and campus events.

Susan Marshall

Coordinator of the Technology Lab

 

Software to Assist with Reading

Kurzweil 3000™ is a state of the art text-to-voice software program. Kurzweil 3000 converts written text into a synthesized speech. This software is especially helpful for students who are dyslexic, for students who are visually impaired, and for students who are slow readers. Kurzweil 3000 helps students increase reading speed and comprehension. It uses a multisensory approach that allows students to both hear and see the text as they read.  Kurzweil 3000 also offers writing tools that allow students to brainstorm topics, see a mind map and outline view of topics and subtopics, and type text and hear the text as they type it. The program is user-friendly and requires very little training time. Students may choose from a variety of voices and may adjust reading rate, font size, and the color as well as the amount of text highlighted. Kurzweil 3000 can also be installed on students’ laptops for a fee.

  • Students may have the Kurzweil 3000 software installed on his or her laptop to use for the duration of the time as a student at WVWC. The cost for this is a $100 technology fee to the Learning Center. This fee must be paid in cash or by personal check made out to Friends of the Learning Center – WVWC. The student will sign an agreement to bring his or her laptop to the Technology Coordinator before taking it to the Helpdesk for any repairs and prior to graduation and leaving campus to have the software uninstalled. If the student purchases a new laptop, the software must be uninstalled from the old laptop before it can be installed on the new laptop. See the Technology Coordinator for Kurzweil 3000 installations.

Read & Write Gold is a “one-stop solution” for reading and writing. It includes reading software with RealSpeak ™ voices and voice recognition software that allows students to dictate papers. This software program also has a scientific calculator, a pronunciation tutor, and assists with brainstorming and outlining written assignments.

Learning Ally’s Read/Hear software is used with downloadable Learning Ally audiobooks. This software allows students to listen to recorded texts with the convenience of a digital format. This is most helpful to students who are visually impaired or to those who have difficulty visually processing written text.

Zoomtext is a magnification program (2X to 16X) and screen reader for everything the computer can access including email, web pages, and software. This program is most helpful for students who are visually impaired.

 

Software to Assist with Writing

Co:Writer – University Edition is a word predictor that can be used with Microsoft Word. It is different than other word predictors because it uses linguistic word prediction, making the predictions more accurate. Users can access specialized topic dictionaries and create writer files with their personal preferences.

Draft:Builder is a software program designed to assist students in the steps necessary for writing research papers. The program gives support in planning, organizing, note taking, and writing a first draft.

  • Students may have the Draft:Builder software installed on his or her laptop to use for the duration of the time as a student at WVWC. Students will sign an agreement to bring his or her laptop to the Technology Coordinator before taking it to the Helpdesk for any repairs and prior to graduation and leaving campus to have the software uninstalled.  If the student purchases a new laptop, the software must be uninstalled from the old laptop before it can be installed on the new laptop. The cost for this is a one-time $25 technology fee to the Learning Center. This fee must be paid in cash or by check made out to WVWC - Friends of the Learning Center.

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice-to-text software program. Students speak what they want typed into a microphone, and the software converts the speech into written text. It requires a student establish a voice recognition file through continuous training. Student assistants are available to help students establish an individual voice recognition file. The Dragon software is very helpful to students who have a difficult time expressing their thoughts on paper, for students who have difficulty with spelling, and for students who have difficulty with the physical act of writing. This program is most useful for students whose oral language skills are stronger than their written language skills.

Inspiration is a software program that offers a tool for developing ideas and organizing thoughts. The program integrates visual mapping and outlining to assist in comprehension of concepts and information. This is helpful to visual learners who need to use mind maps to organize information for writing papers.

 

Software to Assist with Math, Statistics, and Science

InspireData is a software program that assists students working with math and statistics. The program helps students learn how to find answers to research questions and understand the relationship between variables. It also teaches students which type of graph is appropriate for specific variables.

A.D.A.M. Anatomy Practice is a program that shows students pinned structures for students to review and also allows for students to create custom self-tests with pinned images.

 

A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy is a program that offers a layer-by-layer dissection view of the human body from multiple angles. It also includes images of pinned structures, customizable slide shows of anatomy images, and 3-D models of structures.

 

A.D.A.M. Interactive Physiology is a program that contains tutorials with animation and quizzes covering 10 body systems to assist students in learning physiology concepts.

 

Software to Assist with Studying

Audio Notetaker allows students to import audio from a computer or portable device (digital recorder or phone) and displays each phrase as a colored bar that you can edit with color coding and/or write notes on. You can import PowerPoint slides, PDF documents, etc. to include with your recordings, and you can link to other documents on your computer.

 

Hardware to Assist with Spelling & Reading

Franklin® Computers:  Hardware that helps students who have difficulty with spelling, including homonyms. These hand-held devices give definitions of the word so the student can find the correct word that they are looking for, and some have a speaking function.

Readingpen Advanced Edition™: Portable reading tool that displays and speaks dictionary definitions of words that are scanned on printed text. It also displays syllables and spells words out loud.


Alternate Text Accommodation Policy

 

Alternate text formats are available to assist students with reading. There are a variety of formats available at WVWC’s Learning Center. Options include Kurzweil 3000 in which textbooks are scanned for use with the software program in which a synthesized voice reads the text and Learning Ally with electronic file formats of audiobooks. Kurzweil 3000 uses a specific file format called KESI. Learning Ally uses the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) file format. Bookshare files can be accessed with either Kurzweil 3000 or other software programs that open DAISY files, such as Learning Ally’s ReadHear, HumanWare’s Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition, and Don Johnston’s Read:OutLoud Bookshare Edition. Students with a documented print disability can access texts through Bookshare and AccessText Network with assistance from the Technology Coodinator. These services provide electronic file formats of textbooks with either synthesized speech or recorded speech; these electronic files can then be used with Kurzweil 3000 and Learning Ally’s ReadHear software. All students are required to purchase a physical copy of their textbooks in order to access the Learning Center’s electronic text formats. More information follows.

 

1. The student may use the Kurzweil 3000 software in the Assistive Technology Lab in the Learning Center or in the Library. Please visit http://www.kurzweiledu.com/products.html for more information about Kurzweil 3000.

2. The student may have the Kurzweil 3000 software installed on his or her laptop to use for the duration of the time as a student at WVWC. The cost for this is a $100 technology fee to the Learning Center. This fee must be paid in cash or by personal check made out to “Friends of the Learning Center – WVWC.” The student will sign an agreement to bring his or her laptop to the Technology Coordinator before taking it to the Helpdesk for any repairs and prior to graduation and leaving campus to have the software uninstalled. If the student purchases a new laptop, the software must be uninstalled from the old laptop before it can be installed on the new laptop. See the Technology Coordinator for Kurzweil 3000 installations.

3. The student may use recorded textbooks through WVWC’s Institutional membership with Learning Ally. These texts can be used in the Assistive Technology Lab, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday.

  • *Learning Ally is a non-profit service organization that provides recorded educational materials to persons with learning disabilities and visual perception disabilities.  Learning Ally’s texts require specialized software to be played.  Please visit www.learningally.org for more information.

 

4. Learning Ally offers memberships for students with the Learning Center’s institutional membership. Students wanting an individual membership need to contact the Technology Lab Coordinator to enroll at the beginning of the Fall semester. The cost for this is a $10 technology fee to the Learning Center. This fee must be paid in cash or by personal check made out to “Friends of the Learning Center – WVWC.” Students get a free download of Learning Ally’s Read/Hear software to use with the audiobooks and a free download for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch). The texts provided by Learning Ally are downloaded from Learning Ally’s website, www.learningally.org.The   

  • Learning Ally  file format can be used with DAISY-format software, including Learning Ally’s ReadHear software for computers and the Learning Ally Audio app for Apple devices** (see more information below). The files are downloaded from the Learning Ally website. You can find more information here: https://www.learningally.org/help-and-support/.
  • **The Learning Ally Audio app is available through the iTunes Store for use with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. This requires iOS 3.2 or later for compatibility. You can find more information here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rfb-d-audio/id418888450.

 

5. Bookshare is an online library of accessible text material. Bookshare memberships are free for individuals with a qualifying print disability (https://www.bookshare.org/_/membership/qualifications). Bookshare files are compatible with Kurzweil 3000, Learning Ally’s DAISY format Read/Hear software, and Don Johnston’s Read:OutLoud software used on computers. The files are also compatible with the Read2Go app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and the GoRead app for Android device. There are two free computer software readers that students with a Bookshare membership can download from the Bookshare website:

      • Read:OutLoud Version 6 Bookshare Edition by Don Johnston
      • Victor Reader Soft Bookshare Edition by HumanWare

 

6. AccesText Network is a tool used by the Technology Coordinator to acquire electronic formats of textbooks. All students working with the Learning Center are welcome to use alternate text formats, however, this service is only available to students with qualifying print disabilities (http://www.accesstext.org/students.php). Students must check with their Comprehensive Advisor to confirm this qualification. Students will be able to access the Learning Center’s webpage (http://www.wvwc.edu/services/TheLearningCenter/) to request electronic copies of books and will then meet with the Technology Coordinator to transfer the files to the students’ computers. Students are required to purchase a hard copy of their textbook in addition to requesting a digital copy. It is the students’ responsibility to provide the Learning Center’s Technology Coordinator with a copy of the receipt(s) that includes the date of purchase and price of the textbooks.

 

***If you are interested in any of the electronic formats, the Learning Center Technology Coordinator and Technology Lab student workers can help you download books.

 

Procedures & Policies of the Assistive Technology Lab

Students entering the lab must sign the logbook noting the date of use, equipment and software used, and the time in and out.  Students may be asked to exchange their college identification card for any portable equipment they use.

A student worker who is trained in the use of hardware, software, and any other equipment in the lab will supervise the Assistive Technology Lab.  If the student worker is not available, please contact the Supervisor or Coordinator for the Testing Lab.

The following actions may lead to removal from the lab and/or loss of lab privileges:

  • Eating or drinking in the lab

  • Cell phone use in the lab

  • Disruptive behavior and/or the harassment of others

  • Use or installation of instant messenger

  • Theft or attempted theft of lab materials or hardware

  • Use of inappropriate and/or non-educational materials

  • Tampering with hardware or hardware setups

  • Failure to follow instructions of the Assistive Technology Lab Worker

Please note: Refer to the Wesleyan Student Handbook online for policies governing computer use on campus. Lab use will be academic in nature and be restricted to Wesleyan students only.