Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Optical Character Recognition in Google Docs

What is Optical Character Recognition?

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR for short, is defined as a technology that allows you to convert different types of documents, such as scanned documents, PDFs or images captured by a digital camera, into editable and searchable data.
Google Drive has OCR reader technology built into its system. This technology allows you to Convert PDF and photo files to text, simply by opening them as a Google Doc.

How can Google's OCR reader help my students?

For starters, when documents have been transformed, it allows you or your students to use any of the text-to-speech options available to your students.
Using OCR to transform your PDFs also allows you to update information within a PDF or make any necessary changes before sharing with students.

Google offers support for using OCR at: Convert PDF and photo files to text.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guided Access

What is Guided Access? How can it help in my classroom?

Guided Access is a built in Accessibility feature on the iPad. It helps students stay focused on a task while using the iPad. It limits the device to a single app and lets the teacher control which features are available.

Guided Access is a great technology management tool and can be enabled in a couple of quick steps.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Find and Install a Google Extension or App

Many of my previous Blog posts have talked about Google Extensions.  It recently occurred to me that some of my readers may not know how to install a Google Extension.  Below are the instructions on how to locate and install a Google Extension or Google App (I will talk about some of these in later posts). 

Install a Google Extension or Google App

Google Extensions and Apps are available in the Google Web store. You can also locate the Google Web store by searching to Web Store in your Google browser.

Once in the Web Store, search for the Extension or App you wish to add.

Your search will provide a list of possible Apps and Extensions.

Locate the one you want and click Add to Chrome.

For Google Extensions:
A dialog window will appear asking for permission to add the Extension.  
Select: Add extension.
Google Extensions will appear to the right of the URL bar in Google Chrome.

For Google Apps:
A dialog window will appear asking for permission to add the App.  
Select: Add app.  
Google Apps will appear in Your Chrome App Storage.  Your Chrome App Storage is available by selecting the rainbow colored “waffle” icon on the far left of your bookmark bar.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Speech-to-Text a.k.a. Dictation

Consider for a moment your students. Think about the ones who struggle to get their ideas onto paper. How about the students who struggle with spelling or have fine motor control issues.

Speech to Text is a tool that can help these students and many others. Speech to Text is an Accessibility feature built into most computers today. It is a tool that allows a writer to dictate their thoughts and ideas into a document. Many Speech to Text options also allow you to speak the punctuation and a multitude of voice commands for editing purposes.

Google Docs has a built in Speech to Text option called Voice Typing.

Google offers a fairly comprehensive instructional guide for Voice Typing. The guide includes a list of languages supported by Voice Typing as well as a list of punctuation that can be voice enabled. The guide also includes a list of voice commands for formatting or editing your document in the sections under “Voice commands”. There are also some troubleshooting tips located near the end of the guide.

Because it is an accessibility feature, you can enable Speech to Text on a Mac.

Apple also provides a set-up and use guide that includes a variety of voice commands.

Give it a try! You (and your students) will love it!