Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Free OCR option for students

Does your professor scan articles and send them as an image in a pdf? If you use screen-reading software you know what a hassle this scenario presents.

Good news: you no longer have to rely on Student Disability Services or expensive software to access the text. Google offers Optical Character Recognition (OCR)!

1. Download Google Drive to your computer.
2. In File Explorer, paste the pdf into the Drive folder.
3. Open Chrome and sign into your Google account.
4. Open Google Drive in Chrome.
5. In Chrome, highlight the file.
6. Press App Key.
7. Arrow to “Open with Google Docs” and press Enter.
Give the process a moment because there is no audio feedback.
8. Press Control +A to copy and open a Word document/
9. Press Control V, and Control T quickly after pasting to clear formatting.
There may still be some clean up.

This tip came from Dr. Denise M. Robinson. She's got a YouTube Channel.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Device curriculum

New venture: Washington State Dept. of Services for the Blind asked me to develop a curriculum to get college-bound students up-to-speed with the Stream by HumanWare. This week the lesson plans were approved. A contract is in the works.

Why would a student use a Stream rather than a small digital recorder or their iPhone?

The Stream is much more versatile than a recorder. It's more rugged, affordable, less obtrusive, and easier to use than the iPhone.

The Stream interface is all tactile--similar to a game controller. A student can load books, their notes, record lectures, find references, bookmark, download podcasts, and listen to Internet radio stations. The recording capability works very well in large rooms.

The Stream lets students search and save Wikipedia references. Since colleges do not allow students to cite Wikipedia, this option is still useful in finding better sources.

The lesson plans will assist me in getting students signed up with the National Library Service and Learn Ally--a great option for accessible textbooks--and in utilizing other online content.

To learn more about the Stream, visit the HumanWare site: http://bit.ly/2d8UxGn