I just have to tell you about what is probably my favorite Web 2.0 tool yet, thanks to Lisa Nocita, a library media specialist in Kansas. And if you ever need to convert PDF files to .doc files aka Word documents or .rtf files, you are going to thank your lucky stars that you are my friend and that I was the one who introduced you to OCR Terminal. And I am about to save you the $449.00 you would have to pay for Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro that you may only need occasionally to convert the odd file, when all you need to do is highlight it or work with it more easily. Now if you are doing a lot of work with PDF files, then by all means, go ahead and buy Acrobat 9 Pro, it is a great product with many more capabilities, but if you are like me, just going to graduate school, needing to read a paper you’ve saved, want to be able to highlight a few points for your own use, maybe cut and paste the important parts to a new file (note: don’t steal other people’s work; remember we’re talking about using this for citation purposes, not plagiarizing!) or delete the stuff you know you won’t use, then OCR Terminal is perfect, and it even looks good in most instances. You can even convert scanned files to text easily with OCR Terminal. You can convert up to 30 pages a day for free, so I guess if you’re busy one day, you may have to wait until the next day to convert all of your files. Actually, I don’t think they notice if you log out and login again that you’re doing over 30 pages a day. I think it is actually 30 pages per login. You may also be thinking to yourself, “How can I convert my files to PDF format for free?” Well, you can use CutePDF to do that. You have to download the software, but it is free. It acts like it is one of your printers, but it isn’t, obviously. When you select it as the printer, all it does is convert the selected document to a PDF file. You can also do this with Zamzar, and supposedly Zamzar goes both ways–PDF to .doc and vice versa, but I did not have good results being able to work with my file once I converted it from PDF to .doc or .rtf. So my advice would be to stick with OCR Terminal for that. And if you just can’t think of anything else to do with your $449, email me and I’ll send you my address so you can send me a check.
Posted by grizzlymedia on May 1, 2009
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 29, 2009
Ever wish you had a great documentary film you could show your class (or just watch yourself)—for free? Then, man, do you ever need SnagFilms! SnagFilms brings you the world’s most compelling documentaries from first-time filmmakers to established heavyweights like National Geographic and everything in between. And, oh, yeah, you can watch these full-length documentaries online, for free. You can even embed them on your website or blog. Even WordPress. That’s right, you heard me. I said, even WordPress. Here’s a summary of what SnagFilms is about from their website:
Find. Whether using our custom search tools, browsing by topic, or tuning into one of the great channels provided by our partners, with a few clicks you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.
Watch. By streaming films worldwide, on-demand, 24×7 and with no software installation or downloading required, we have radically expanded the audience for documentary films. All you need is a decent broadband connection. Just click play, go full-screen, and lean back and enjoy our films.
Snag. Widgets let you take your favorite SnagFilms with you wherever you like to go online. Open a virtual movie theater right in your webpage, blog, Facebook or MySpace page, or just about any other place online you can think of.
Support. At their best, documentaries don‘t merely entertain us, they engage and inspire us to action. We provide a link for you to a charity related to the topic of each film (many of them selected by the filmmaker) so you can get involved, immediately. And just by embedding our widgets, you’ve donated your pixels and helped support independent film.
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 28, 2009
I’ve been a bit remiss on posting any tributes to the Academy of American Poets and their amazing celebration of National Poetry Month. Today’s selection is History of Hurricanes by Teresa Cader, published by Northwestern. Go to the website to read the poem here. You can also read an interview with Teresa here at Web del Sol. I’ve created a Wordle using the last stanza of the poem for you. Don’t forget to visit the Academy of American Poets’ website at www.poets.org where you can find Poetry 101–resources and tips for beginners and also poetry you can download to your mobile device at www.poets.org/m where you can access the site’s collection of over 2,500 poems in the palm of your hand.
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 20, 2009
˙ʞuıl ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ ǝɹǝɥ ʞɔılɔ ˙dılɟ ɥʇıʍ ‘ooʇ ‘ʇı op uɐɔ noʎ ¿sıɥʇ pıp ı ʍoɥ ʍouʞ oʇ ʇuɐʍ˙pǝʞɔolq ǝq ʎɐɯ ʎǝɥʇ ǝɹǝɥʍ looɥɔs ʇɐ ʇou ǝɹɐ noʎ ɟı ɥɔʇɐʍ uɐɔ noʎ soǝpıʌ ɹǝɥʇo ǝɯos oslɐ ǝɹɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ ˙ƃuıuıɐʇɹǝʇuǝʎlǝʇɐɹǝpoɯ sı ʇɐɥʇ oǝpıʌ ǝdʎʇ-ʇɟɐɹɔ uoɯɯoɔ/ɹǝʌǝɟǝl ǝǝl ɐ s,ǝɹǝɥʇ ‘uoıʇɐɔıldxǝ ɹǝɥʇɹnɟ pǝǝu noʎ ǝsɐɔ uı ʇnq ‘uoıʇɐuɐldxǝ ɥɔnɯ pǝǝu ʇ,usǝop ʎllɐǝɹ ʇıʞunɥɔ ˙ʇıʞunɥɔ ɐıʌ sǝʇıs ʞɹɐɯʞooq ʎlısɐǝ uɐɔ noʎ os oƃııp ɹo sn˙oıɔı˙lǝp ǝʞıl ǝɹnʇɐǝɟ ƃuıʞɹɐɯʞooq lɐıɔos ɐ sǝpnlɔuı oslɐ ʇıʞunɥɔ ˙pǝɹınbǝɹ ƃuıʇsɐd puɐ ƃuıʇʇnɔ ou–ǝsɐǝld noʎ ɹǝʌǝɯoɥʍ oʇ ʞunɥɔ ǝɥʇ lıɐɯǝ oʇ noʎ ɹoɟ ƃuıʇıɐʍ ǝɹǝɥʇ ƃuıʇʇıs ʇsnɾ uoʇʇnq ɐ s,ǝɹǝɥʇ ‘puǝıɹɟ ɐ ɹo ɟlǝsɹnoʎ oʇ puǝs oʇ ʇuɐʍ noʎ ʞunɥɔ ɐ puıɟ noʎ ɟı ˙uǝǝɹɔs ǝɥʇ ɟo ǝpıs ʇıʞunɥɔ ǝɥʇ uo pǝʇɥƃılɥƃıɥ uǝʌǝ sı ɯɹǝʇ ɥɔɹɐǝs ɹnoʎ ˙sʞunɥɔ ʇıʞunɥɔ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ ǝuo puɐ ‘ǝuıƃuǝ ɥɔɹɐǝs ɹnoʎ ɹoɟ ǝuo :sɹɐq lloɹɔs oʍʇ ɥʇıʍ ɟlɐɥ uı pǝpıʌıp sı uǝǝɹɔs ɹnoʎ ˙sʇsod ƃolq puɐ ‘uozɐɯɐ ‘ǝqnʇnoʎ ‘ɐıpǝdıʞıʍ ‘sǝɔɹnos sʍǝu sɐ ɥɔns sǝdʎʇ snoıɹɐʌ oʇuı pǝpıʌıp uoıʇɐɯɹoɟuı ɟo “sʞunɥɔ” oʇuı sʇlnsǝɹ ɥɔɹɐǝs ǝɥʇ uʍop ƃuıʞɐǝɹq ʎlsnoǝuɐʇlnɯıs ǝlıɥʍ ǝuıƃuǝ ɥɔɹɐǝs ǝʇıɹoʌɐɟ ɹnoʎ ɥʇıʍ ƃuolɐ qǝʍ ǝɥʇ ɥɔɹɐǝs noʎ sʇǝl ʇɐɥʇ uo-ppɐ ɹǝsʍoɹq ɐ sı ʇıʞunɥɔ ¿ʇıʞunɥɔ ʇnoqɐ zznq ǝɥʇ s,ʇɐɥʍ os
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 3, 2009
Day Three. National Poetry Month. “corydon & alexis, redux.” Author D. A. Powell. Verse two in a fancy new feature from Image Chef called Word Mosaic. Cool, huh? You can make your own using any words you choose, any colors, several shapes, and one or two letters, like your initials. But I digress. Just go to the Academy of American Poets website, sign up for their Poem-A-Day via email, or just go right now to read all of corydon & alexis, redux. Or read about poet D. A. Powell. Whatev. You know the drill. You can also read other poems by Mr. Powell or read all of the poems posted so far this month. “corydon & alexis, redux” is from Mr. Powell’s new anthology, Chronic, which is newly published by Graywolf Press. You can click here to order it from Amazon.
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 2, 2009
It’s day two of National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Here’s a TypoGenerator image of today’s poem, “Unbidden” by Rae Armantrout. Be sure to visit the Academy at their website to sign up to receive their poem of the day for this month. You can click here for today’s poem or you can click here to read more about poet Rae Armantrout.
Posted by grizzlymedia on April 1, 2009
It’s April! That means it’s time for the Academy of American Poets and their website at poets.org to celebrate by publishing a poem a day and also celebrating the poem’s author. We’ll be celebrating National Poetry Month along with them. If you’re a poetry fan, you can go to the website and sign up to receive an email of each day’s poem. On April 30, they’ll also be celebrating their second annual Poem In Your Pocket Day. Just find a poem you love and carry it in your pocket all day to share with friends and family. Today’s poem is “Summer at Blue Creek, North Carolina” by Jack Gilbert. You can read the poem here and read about Mr. Gilbert here. Oh, yeah, and here’s a Wordle of the poem.
Posted by grizzlymedia on March 27, 2009
Yesterday I visited the media center of Long Cane Middle School in LaGrange, a 2008 Exceptional Media Program. Media specialist Pam Murphy and her staff (Judy Beach, Chris Miller, and Terry Tucker) collaborate with teachers in her school to create innovative student products. Recently, Long Cane students communicated on a Ning with other kids from five different countries. The students contributed to a wiki and collaborated with each other in their research on digital citizenship in schools. Students also used a webcast to collaborate with students in a nearby county and compare water usage, making comparisons to online data provided by schools from around the world. The media center hosted a Curriculum Fair to display resources available for teachers to integrate into their curriculum. A Technology Expo provided teachers with an opportunity to observe demonstrations of new technology equipment and technology integration ideas. The media center provides twenty-first century learning opportunies via blogs, wikis, digital storytelling via MovieMaker, Flip camera video productions, Web 2.0 applications, podcasting with Audacity, student response systems, and other materials. In cooperation with Georgia Tech, the school also provides a Lego Robotics program and other technology initiatives including a state-of-the-art video production studio. Their Lunch Bunch, Strive for 25, and other reading promotions keep students reading across the curriculum. Congratulations to Long Cane Middle School Media Center for their devotion to children and their dedication to the ideals of twenty-first century education.
Posted by grizzlymedia on March 14, 2009
It’s always fun to visit Google on “special” days–you know, the ones where the Google logo isn’t just its ordinary cool primary color logo. I mean those special days when the Google artists redesign the Google logo to reflect a special occasion. All you have to do to find out what the logo’s all about is click on the fancy logo, and you get a search of the topic in question. Today’s Google logo reflects the fact that today is the 174th birthday of Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. Don’t worry if you forgot to pick up a present for Giovanni’s party–he’s not still around for his birthday bash, obviously. But in 1890 when he was still rockin’, ol’ Giovanni created a pretty cool map of Mars. You can go to YouTube to see a video about how to view a more modern map of Mars thanks to Google Earth. You can also download Google Earth 5.0. Google Earth lets you see maps of the Earth, Mars, or the sky. Click here for a link to the YouTube video and also a download for Google Earth 5.0. And visit our library’s databases to find out more about other astronomers like Giovanni Schiaparelli.
Posted by grizzlymedia on March 4, 2009
I just discovered a cool new Web 2.0 app from GE called Imagination Cubed (yes, that GE, General Electric, the company whose slogan is “Imagination at Work”). I think it would be great for mathematics, art, elementary and middle school students, and for working with a SmartBoard. Heck, it’s great just for fun! You just go to Imagination Cubed, click on the marker, and draw or write. Whenever you let go of your mouse, you let go of the marker, so it’s not annoying like an Etch-a-Sketch. Hate what you’ve got on the screen so far? Just hit clear. To make sure you haven’t accidentally cleared a masterpiece, Imagination Cubed double checks your selection. From a file button, you can print, send, check to see when your work of art was created, or add a grid to make it perfectly perfect. There’s also a tool button. From there, you can trade your pen for shapes, a stamper, lines, a typing tool, and backgrounds–all in pretty, pretty colors. After your creation is complete, you can replay it–again and again until you throw up. Or email it to your friends so they can throw up. You can even invite your friends (as if you have any!) to draw along with you. This is the ultimate Web 2.0 toy! Well, OK, it isn’t, because you can’t embed these lovely drawings. I blame it on their ephemeral quality. But they are otherwise perfectly delightful. Just. Like. Us.