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November 20th, 2011

20 Nov

Back on my November 5th entry, I mentioned the use of Bridgit on the Apple iPad.  Well, we have forged ahead with the set up.  The young man’s family purchased an iPad and we’re going to install the Bridgit App and he will now have the ability to view and manipulate the teacher’s desktop/SMART board from his desk!  We are really entering an exciting phase in the education area when it comes down to how we can implement the tablet technology into our classrooms!

As well, on the October 22nd entry, I shared the tools to create an infographic.  The graphic tool suggested to use to put together all of the different images is Inkscape (open source).  I made the effort to try it out and my first impression is WOW!  Inkscape is a very nice and a very robust program.  It is a free vector graphic software which allows us to combine all of the different images into one so that we can ‘create’ (a major goal of the 21st century classroom) an informative infographic.  As I indicated earlier, I really believe that allowing students to pursue and create an infographic would be a great activity that would fall into the 21st century realm and that is, creating knowledge!!

Within Palliser, we’re seeing a lot more use of the assistive software – Read & Write Gold (version 9) from TextHelp.  This is great that the admin within each school is making this a priority.  The program offers so much to the students.  As much potential as this program holds, we’re still trying to work all of the glitches out so that the program performs the way that it should.  It’s coming along and hopefully in short time, we’ll have this performing the way it should.

The one area that is causing issues which can be overcome is that of PDF’s.  Our schools are equipped with photocopiers that allow teachers to scan documents which can then be emailed to them.  The arrive as a PDF image which is what causes the problem.  Unless you use the Screenshot Reader, RWG can’t read the document.  So there are ways to correct this and the first is to purchase Adobe Pro.  This being an Adobe product, it will convert the image using OCR after which you can convert the Adobe image into a Word document.  This program will cost you around $60 per seat.

There are a number of ‘free’ PDF to Word conversion programs available on the internet.  Listed below are the links to them.  I haven’t looked at all of them.  They include:

I’ve only used Zamzar to access Youtube videos – I never even consider it for converting a PDF to a Word document.  I tried it the other day and it really worked well!  Not only did it convert it to a Word document – it also maintained ALL of the original formatting as well!!  The software from Nuance (maker of Dragon Naturally Speaking) is also highly recommended.

I was asked the other day to share some sites where one could access audio books.  The one’s that I’m most familiar with is the Gutenberg project and Librivox.   As a result of looking around, I found a few more that I still need to check out.  The list includes:

I’ll leave off today with some tools that you can use should you need to access a youtube video.  Again, a lot of tools/software is available to help one here.  Zamzar (http://www.zamzar.com/) is the one I use the most.  The others are:

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