Friday, August 8, 2014

Another useful tool

I am back at school this week, and already I can feel the change in my brain function.

One of the tasks I have this year is to revisit the school Academic Honesty policy - this is a lead on from the audit we did last academic year. I could not find the digital version of the policy due to staff changes and I really did not want to re type it all out. So I turned to a tool I have used previously.

Online OCR  (OCR -> Optical Character Recognition) is a web based tool where I can upload a PDF document full of text, and it will transform the text into a useable and manipulative word document (as well as Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Rtf, Html and Txt formats). This has allowed me to have the text of the policy in a form which allows for editing without retyping it. It does require checking and modification of formatting, but for the difference in time, this is not an issue.

I have demonstrated this previously to some other teachers when they were retyping passages from a book or newspaper to use in class to place on workable document for taking notes etc. They were most appreciative. I have also used it to revive older printed documents that were no longer, or ever available in digital form. Scan them as PDF, upload into Online OCR and within minutes you can manipulate the text.

There is other software that will do this, most of which you need to download, but what I like about Online OCR is that it is available anytime for anyone. It also gives options for use with 45 languages other than english!!

So stick this tool into your toolbox for future use.

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