OCR...The Devil Is In The Details

OCR (optical character recognition) is a complex and inexact process. I covered some of this in a previous post. The video below is a deeper dive into the processing and math (just a touch) behind how OCR processing happens.

Because of the complexity of this process it is important to begin with the best quality original scan possible. Some scan settings to keep in mind:
Color - This should be set to Grayscale. The grayscale setting helps to gather as much detail as possible from the original without making the file size too large.Resolution (DPI) - This should be set to 300 dpi. This is the minimum resolution recommended for OCR.Format - The file format should be PDF.

Blended learning Conference, Bryn Mawr College, May 17-18

Bryn Mawr College hosted the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference on May 17-18, 2017.  I was able to present as part of a group, sharing about development of the ACM Institute on College Futures (ICF) Institute online course. 
The presentation may be viewed from the conference repository:

The ICF was originally a program of two-day workshops in which faculty gained a broad overview of the economics of higher education and explored various financial planning challenges that colleges face. To disseminate this material to faculty and staff more broadly, the ACM developed the Institute on College Futures Online (ICF Online), a self-paced professional development course that recreates the seminar experience in an online environment. 

More information Blended Learning Conference may be found on the conference blog at: You may find information and presentations from past Blended Le…

Formative Assessment - Android apps

I recently came across this post on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog, listing a number of apps that may be used for formative assessment. I have not used all of these, but the list provides some good options for gathering "in-time" feedback from students.

Kahoot is fun to use. while straight-forward and easy to use it offers some sophistication as well.

Poll Everywhere is one that I have heard a lot about, but have not had the opportunity to use. I also would like to mention Mentimeter. I have participated in a poll using this tool and it was easy to use.

One other app from this list that looks interesting is Plickers. This app uses the instructor's mobile camera to read symbols on cards held up by students. The students do not need their own devices. This may be a good option for someone who does not want students to have devices in the classroom, or who does not what to discriminate between those that have a device and those who do not. This tool favo…

ITEC Workshop: Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerful video editing program used by professionals and hobbyists to create their video projects. This software is available on all computers in the Library. What follows below is a summary of information covered during the ITEC workshop sessions on Premiere Pro. The information below includes steps for common tasks related to projects that may occur as part of a class project or other video project.

Customizing the Workspace in Adobe Premiere Pro
The default view of Adobe Premiere Pro can be a bit overwhelming the first time you open the program. Adobe includes a number of built-in workspaces suited to different tasks in Premiere. If you are familiar with iMovie or Final Cut Pro the Editing workspace will feel more similar to what you are used to. Each of the panes within the program window may be resized to your liking. If, for instance, you need the Timeline to be larger, you can click and drag the edge of the pane to resize it. You may also add panes by s…

Google Doc's + Keep

Google recently announced that it is now possible to integrate Google Keep into Google Docs. This means that a person is able to click and drag notes from Keep directly into a Google Doc.

To be able to see your Keep notes in a Google Doc, click on Tools > Keep notepad. 

Once you have done this, you will see your keep notes appear in a sidebar on the right.
You can then click and drag your notes into your Doc. This works for URLs, images, bullet lists, and text.
You can read more about this integration here:

PDF Forms

On Thursday, February 16, ITEC presented a workshop on creating PDF forms as an addition to this semester's series of workshops. As a companion to this guide, you may wish to check out our summary of the session on making PDF documents accessible. What follows is a summary of the information shared about creating PDF forms.

Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Pro The easiest, most straight forward way to create a PDF form is accomplished through the use of Microsoft Word (Word) and Adobe Acrobat Pro (Acrobat).
12 The recommended workflow is to create the form initially in Word. It is much easier to format text, tables, and other elements from within Word than it is in Acrobat. This speeds up the creation process and ensures that the resulting form looks the way it needs to. This also makes it easier to go back and edit the form later if changes are needed. The one downside to this workflow is that it will require a re-do of the steps below in Acrobat.

Microsoft Word This post will not…

Google Hangouts Temporarily won’t support phone and video calls on Mozilla Firefox

If you use the Firefox browser to access and use Google Hangouts, please be aware that there is a temporary issue causing phone and video calls to not work in the Firefox browser. 
The work-around is to use another browser. Hangouts will continue to work in Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.

Please see this blog post for the full details: