The Data Says it All

firefly Ipad accessibility softwareMonterey Peninsula College (MPC) is one of the 110 colleges in the California Community College System. Three years ago they implemented Smartxt as part of a campus-wide program to support students with learning disabilities. Kurzweil 3000-firefly is the technological foundation of Smartxt. Alexis Copeland, who was part of the team that implemented Smartxt and Kurzweil 3000-firefly at MPC, shares some insights into the data collected since implementation of this program and the success of Kurzweil 3000-firefly.

Recently, my staff and I in our High Tech Center for the Disabled at Monterey Peninsula College had an opportunity to analyze our alternate media production data from the last six semesters. As always it is a snapshot in time, as we have processed another 20 requests in the last few weeks, but a couple of major trends are evident in the data . First, the number of requests is steadily increasing – up roughly 40%. Second, this increase is a result of the increasing integration of Kurzweil 3000 and firefly (on the Web and iPad) into our campus, both in labs for students with disabilities and mainstream classes. 

Our switch to an all Web Licensing model with Kurzweil 3000-firefly has made supporting our large scale distribution of the software relatively simple and has improved access across campus , and particularly off campus. All of our major computer labs, library, and English and Study Skills Center have Kurzweil 3000-firefly installed on the majority of their workstations. A number of our beginning English classes have integrated Kurzweil 3000-firefly units into their curriculum, which coincides nicely with California’s stated emphasis on basic skills instruction at the community college level.

On a functional level, students have access to assisted installation on their personal laptops in our High Tech Center, as well as direct download links from our website. The simplified interface of firefly, in both the Web and iPad versions, has been an effective way to quickly get students acquainted with the functionality and capabilities of the software, as well as meeting ever increasing student needs for mobile access.

Having 90% of student requests for the Kurzweil format has made our alternate media production process significantly more streamlined. With the cloud-based Universal Library function we can now deliver content to students remotely, greatly reducing the time it takes for us to deliver their textbooks and other materials, and providing them with a backup.

Kurzweil 3000-firefly is a vital component for us at the High Tech Center to meet the alternate media needs of our students with disabilities, as well as support basic skills instruction in our mainstream classes. Moving this service into the cloud with the Kurzweil 3000-firefly Web licensing version has really improved our ability to meet these increasing demands in a time of diminishing resources.

Alexis Copeland
Adaptive Technology Specialist
Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey, CA

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3 thoughts on “The Data Says it All

  1. I have a comment / question : I’m tutoring a 6th grader (going into 6th in August 2013) who reads on a 1st grade level (instructional level), is on an IEP, and is in counseling. However, he is intelligent and can comprehend, recall, analyze, interpret, etc. I am very concerned about him and wonder if firefly has anything for him (and others in his situation)…. I teach in a Title I school in a city that has a growing number of low income families, so financing will not be possible without a grant or donations of some kind. Please contact me via Shawnee Public Schools email knolen@shawnee.k12.ok.us to let me know if there is anything available.
    Thank You,
    Karen Nolen
    Title I Reading Specialist
    Jefferson Elementary

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