Sunday, September 11, 2011

Convert PDF to Word for Free

Last week after I wrote about Magazinify I had a handful of readers inquire about tools for converting PDFs into editable Word documents. Here's what I recommend: PDF to Word is simple tool that extracts the text of your PDF documents and converts it to your choice of a Word document or rich text file (RTF). To use it, simply upload your chosen PDF, choose Word or RTF conversion, and enter your email address (don't forget to opt-out of marketing emails, unless you like spam). PDF to Word will email you when your file is ready for download. PDF to Word also offers a subscription service for batch conversions on your desktop.

Applications for Education
The reason I initially discovered PDF to Word a couple of years ago was that I had some PDFs of quizzes and activities that I had created and saved as PDFs before I knew the joys of Google Docs. I don't remember why I saved them as PDFs, but I'm sure it was a good reason at the time. PDF to Word made it possible for me to edit those quizzes and activities again

Odosketch - A Simple Online Sketchpad

Odosketch is a free online sketchpad that I learned about from Danny Nicholson's The Whiteboard Blog. Odosketch, like many similar sites, provides a blank canvas on which you can create drawings from scratch. You can save your work to a free Odosketch account, share it online, or download it. Odosketch's niche appears to be creating drawings with "charcoal pencil" effects. Odosketch is well suited to use on touch screen computers and interactive whiteboards.

Applications for Education
Whenever I talk to teachers about multimedia projects for their classrooms I encourage teachers to, whenever practical, have their students create their own images rather than re-using other people's work. Having students create their own images for multimedia projects removes any possibility that they are misusing someone else's work. If creating their images isn't practical for the project you have planned, here are nine places students can find Creative Commons and Public Domain images.