Inserting image into Adobe Acrobat X

Date July 8, 2011

More this past several months than anytime in the past I have had to sign PDFs that someone emailed me. Now, I love PDFs but I hate that they’re not really editable unless you have the correct software: Acrobat Adobe X. I was able to acquire the software but still had issues. Most of the PDFs I come across are from educational institutions so there’s not real protection, which is great. Now, I need to fill in information like name/address but I also needed to sign the damn things. This is where it gets tricky.

Years ago I used my Wacom tablet to make a signature jpg, which I use to sign electronic letters of rec, etc… Now I want to add this small jpg into a PDF. I cannot insert an image like I would into a text document, nor can I just copy/paste from a jpg viewer. So I googled it and this is what I found.


1 Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Professional. Go to “Tools,” select “Comment and Markup,” and choose “Stamps.” Click on “Create Custom Stamp.”

2 Click the “Browse” button to select your image. In the “Show” drop-down menu, make sure to select the format that your image is in. Locate your image on your computer. Click “Select” and then click “OK.”

3 In the “Category” field, enter “My Stamps.” In the “Name” field, enter an easy to remember name for your image. Click “OK.”

4 Go back to “Tools,” then “Comment and Markup,” and select “Stamps.” Navigate to “My Stamps,” the new category you created. Select your image.

5 You should now see your image overlaying your PDF document. Move your mouse to the general area where you want your image and click. Your image is now stamped onto your document.

6 Click once on your image to select it. There should be a light blue border around the image. You can now use your mouse to re-size the image or drag it to a different part of your PDF document.

This information was found here.

1105 PHXCC(3)228

Date June 6, 2011

1105 PHXCC(3)228, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Blog post here.

Technology Is Not Technology If it was invented before you were born

Date April 2, 2011

Technology Is Not Technology, originally uploaded by lgb06.

Think about this quote in terms of your own technology evolution. How can we call something technology if it was always a part of our lives? Nothing is new and we knew nothing different than living with that product, concept, idea, tool.

Citing ebooks in MLA & APA

Date March 15, 2011

Many of today’s high school students are moving toward reading their books on “e-readers” or mobile devices (like their phones and itouches). There are many advantages (and still some disadvantages). While people are stratified on the notion of mobile devices in high school classrooms, for those of us who permit them to read on them run into a new problem: citing.

A highschool colleague presented a question to me recently: How do you cite a page number from an ebook? I had an idea of how to go about doing this but I figured I would ask my friend and colleague who has written one of my favorite research and citation guides, The Wadsworth Guide to Research.

The new MLA (2009) and APA (2010) both require the “type” of source to be listed in the bibliography/reference section. In the case of the ebook, you cannot put “Print” nor can you put “Web”. The web is a platform not a type of source. An ebook is not printed. (Does that make sense?)

So after spending sometime doing research and speaking to the “experts”, we realize the research cannot list a page number for an ebook, but he or she should make a concerted effort to specify where the quote appears. This should be done through chapter number in the parenthetical citation and not needed in the citation section. As more and more people asked the question above, Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association agreed, “The lack of page numbers is disconcerting”. MLA recommends that ebooks are identified the same as digital files like Microsoft documents, which can include chapters and paragraph count, while Chicago (2010) style recommends the user includes section titles if they’re available.

Below are examples of both APA and MLA answering this question.
In text citations are IDENTICAL for both for ebooks. For example:

Coupland’s assertion about the contemporary early twenty-something emerges through the description of Karen’s friends where they “have become who they’ve become by default. Their dreams are forgotten, or were never formulated to begin with” (Coupland ch. 23 para 7).

Coupland, Douglas. Girlfriend in a Coma. New York: ReganBooks, 1998. Digital.

Coupland, D. (1998). Girlfriend in a Coma. [Digital]. New York: ReganBooks.

As MLA, APA, and Chicago has started addressing e-books, Amazon has now added “location numbers” to their Kindle books. I have personally measured all e-books I’ve read these last two years by percentage complete. It doesn’t matter how large or small I set the font but the percentage is accurate albeit it’s not as accurate as chapter numbers. Books have static chapters while page numbers, as Charlie Sorrel pointed out in, have always changed depending on the edition of the book cited. In many ways, a digital citation is more accurate that a print citation. There is an initiative to build a standard Open Bookmark that creates a consistent measure of e-books.

A page number is a location reference, so why not use a more universal reference rather than something based on edition or version? The Associations need to push the publishing industry to set universal location markers in digital books that are cross format and cross platform.

To demonstrate the confusion teachers and students alike feel when it comes this discussion, here are two more examples of citing e-books. While I don’t necessarily agree with online citation aggregators, the student flock to them. Both of these examples come from Noodletools, which is one of the more popular tools for my students. As you can see, the formatting differs from the formatting above.

(APA 6th ed.) How do I cite an e-book on a device like a Kindle, Nook, or iPad?

(MLA 7th ed.) How do I cite an e-book on a device like a Kindle, Nook, or iPad?

I add another example here not to confuse us but to show that even though there’s still some confusion on how to cite digital copy, teachers, schools, and our associations have begun the discussion.

Adventures in lens flares
(CC) image posted to Flickr by Torley.

MEC2011 Keynote: Karen Cator Department of Ed on NETP

Date March 14, 2011

Karen Cator Direction, Office of Education Technology US Dept of Ed on Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Tech #mec2011

Cator was introduced by John Huppenthal, Arizona Superintendent of Public Schools. National Education Technology Plan introduced in fall through Drupal, and they said it was a “draft” because this is a working document that is alive. Not some proposal printed, stuck on a shelf and forgotten.

“Now is the Time!” Obama, Huppenthal, and Cator are speaking the language of tech in education. Teachers have been doing this for years, she said; it’s time to make hit work. Obama: “By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduate in the world”. Now the question actor asks is “how do we become a learning nation”. Obama said we need to “…out innovate, our educate, out build…” by learning from other nations and jumping ahead. 82% of schools are in improvement currently, and that can’t work.

Karen Cator at MEC 2011
CC image posted on Flickr by ALan Levine.

We need to reboot our education system … this is a “matter of national security”. One year ago there was no market for tablet computers. What we’ve seen this year is a proliferation of mobile computing that includes 24/7 access. 50-70 million tablets will be sold this year globally. Mobile productivity means we move beyond eight hours inside four classroom walls. Learning in the 21st century is about learning how to handle “Social Interactions for Learning”. There’s so much digital content out that that we can all learn from including PBS chunking their videos, universities adding free online free courses. Stop blocking student access to these things. We do need to learn how to “safe search” in schools, but don’t just arbitrarily block everything. We have paper classrooms and online classrooms but how do we blend the two? Print has become digital.

Digital books can take us deeper into concepts, teach us about the writers, take us to other books and ideas by others. Much more than just the print book of yesteryear. When disability act required ramps and sidewalks, it did not just help wheel-chaired people, but also strollers, bikes, etc… Digital print is like this as we move to a digital learning environment.

NETP has three parts. Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. This is the infrastructure, and now we need to move towards productivity. Next up is R&D. What is the importance of learning and what do we need? How do real world people think and learn? “We’re training for 2020 Olympics, but we don’t know the sport yet.” We need 21st century expertise. How do students learn to think globally? In what ways do students now approach learning? NETP is grounded in how people learn and the importance of affect, language, prior experience, etc… We need to personalize learning, and with tech this is absolutely possible. There should be a universal design for learning, and multiple avenues for learning are being created so students can access learning in various ways. Finally, in the learning space learning has to be connected as informal and formal; we can’t keep kids in schools for 12 hours. Learning moves beyond the classroom walls. Students have so many opportunities: robotics, music classes, sports, etc… So much of their learning is outside of schools.

Assessment is still key. How do we make sure student performance is measured? We need to measure what matters. Assessment 2.0 goes beyond the bubble test and gives us an understanding about growth. The opportunity to embed assessment inside games, scaffolded spaces, etc… gives measurement on the fly. Which sorts of assessments work for which kids, in which circumstances, etc… By examining this, we have real time feedback. Real time feedback is better than the refrigerator door model. Online student publishing is so important today, and no longer does it really matter when teachers hang student work on their classroom walls … it’s more important to have that work published online where it is more permanent than the end of the quarter when the classroom is cleaned.

Teachers need to be highly “effective” and highly connected. Teachers need to be connected to the experts, colleges of ed, and their peers. Engage teachers in new ways of thinking about learning and how we can use ubiquitous technology. Teachers should have a laser focus on the idea of time as an issue; we live in a print based environment, but as we moved to digital, students can move on to the next piece of learning instead of waiting for the teacher. Once we put the tools in the hands of the students, teachers will have more time to be more engaged with more of our students. Differentiated roles of teachers is important. Online scaffolded education is so important as we have so many experts but so little physical time, let’s move this all online. So much teaching is outside of the school walls. And what can we do to help teachers be more successful in helping students learn. We need to inspire both our colleagues and our students. Teaching never ends when the final bells role.

Cator said teachers need to have a persistent online profile, just like a Facebook profile. The profile should include what we’re interested in, what we ourselves want to learn, what we’ve published, etc… We can’t shy away from online profiles. When this is public student can seek us out to learn from us. When we hide this information away, we reach less students.

Cator said our goal is “All students and educators will have access to a comprehensive infrastructure for learning when and where they need it.” What the Department of Education wants for our education system is: 24/7 Community wide to technology (some school districts like Vail in Tucson give them hardware), Broadband in schools, Access Points for the Internet, and support for technology (having access to people who know how to troubleshoot the hardware and software), and we need equity in technology. is launching broadband availability for US Schools. NITA and the FCC is working on this right now with the department of education. This is the National Broadband Map, and Dept of Ed wants transparency on where broadband is so we can all work on building up access so ALL students have connectivity EVERYWHERE they need it WHENEVER they need it.

How do we make sure we’re building efficiency and effectiveness in student productivity? We have had decades of print education, and we need to have new ways of redesigning processes to better deal with helping learning be more productive. Cator’s talking about Kahn Academy about learning math online; videos online is cool but now practice sets have been added, so students can practice, find out if they’re right or wrong, and then students can measure their own learning. How can teachers use this for learning?

Research and development. What needs to be invented next for all of this to work? Nobody is being funded to take these ideas to market even when we have prototypes available. There’s a gap between R&D and getting tech into the hands of our students. This is being worked on now.

CC image posted on Flickr by Devon Christopher Adams
Slide with Department of Ed’s National Technology Educational Plan outlined. At Microcomputers in Education conference at Arizona State U.

How will the Department of Education help support schools, a teacher asked Cantor? Her response: NETP is a good start if you make that required for teachers, admins, district officials and school boards. There are a ton of examples that you can put into practice right now in schools.

To conclude, NETP is improving access, creating transparency (telling thew stories of what is working in tech ed now and the classrooms, focus on people (support our communities and support system), and we need to invest in rapid improvement in technology for our students and classrooms. This is where the department of education is now, and these are the discussions that need to be going on in our schools and districts RIGHT NOW.

How to embed PDFs in Google Sites

Date March 6, 2011

1. Upload PDF to Google Docs, make PUBLIC and COPY the LINK
2. Go to your Google Site, click wherever you want to embed pdf
3. Click on INSERT [all the way left]–> MORE GADGETS [very bottom of list]
4. In Gadget search box, search for “Google Docs Viewer”
5. Click on the top one (there should 2 that come up), then choose SELECT
6. In Document URL field, paste your PDF URL (from Google Docs) (I would unselect the boxes…)
[You can click preview if you want to see how it looks.]
7. Click on OK

While you’re still in “Edit Page” mode, it will look like a pale yellow box. SAVE the page to see it as they will.

Teachers are responsible for the recession

Date March 6, 2011

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Crisis in Dairyland – Angry Curds
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

iPadin’ it

Date March 4, 2011

ipadinit, originally uploaded by nooccar.

I’d never really understood the iPad. I knew I could play games, read some online news sites, handed it over to my kid who would play educational games on it, etc… but suddenly I realized the real purpose. I carry it with all of my research reading on it and view them through a PDF viewer and note taker. Then when I sit down to write, I prop open the iPad next to my MacBook Pro and then I go! Just like Shelley here and the brilliant idea!

Mayor Jay Tibshraeny called me about the Multicultural Festival

Date March 2, 2011

Recently there was a Multicultural Festival in downtown Chandler, AZ; I thought it was pretty cool event so I took my camera and headed out. I enjoyed the citizenship ceremony and the events. I made several photos and then shared them with groups that were involved including the City of Chandler. Recently I noticed a voice mail I’d missed in my inbox so I clicked on it. Guess who it was? The Mayor! He called personally to thank me for my work so I wanted to share it here. Here’s the voice mail and then below that a few sample photos of the event.

1101 Chandler Multicultural Festival_79

1101 Chandler Multicultural Festival_19

Here’s a direct link to the entire set of photos from the event.

Why I won’t be buying a Verizon iPhone

Date February 24, 2011

I am a convert.

In 1998 I got my first cell phone while in graduate school. I went with Sprint and don’t really know why now, but it was the place to be back then. That first phone lasted about a year until this cool new Nokia came out (I can’t even begin to tell you the model names). I immediately ordered that phone (and Nokia still does make nice hardware but they’re bigger overseas), but when my wife and I moved across the country to begin our professional lives and marriage I really didn’t need it. I knew no one in AZ essentially and went to work or home. No one to call.

I was an anomaly then. People didn’t have mobile phones like they do now. To save money, I really didn’t use it and didn’t have much use for a mobile for another year until my best friend was buying a new phone and had a buy two and get a deal. I convinced the wife and ended up with a new phone. These were basics that barely even texted. I was still with Sprint and had been happy with them. The service was where I was, the prices were reasonable (especially since I signed up so early and got grandfathered in).

Fast forward through my first few smart phones, and suddenly other companies had cooler phones. They had faster, cooler, easier to use phones. I still had my Sprint phone and by now the wife had been with me in Sprint for a few years. Then the iPhone came out, and it was a hit. All of my friends thought I’d be the first in line now that I’d spent the last decade working in Instructional Technology but I didn’t. I had no desire to be with AT&T (or Cingular or AT&T) or whatever it was called that year. I’d checked out the plans once and discovered I’d have to pay almost double what I pay now to have a second line with a flip phone (for the wife who didn’t care much at that point about phones). I told them where they could stick their phone, even if the iPhone really was that cool.

Two years ago I was still waiting for Sprint to get really cool phones and they still weren’t. At this same time my parents bought a new house, out in the middle of nowhere. They’d jumped onto the Sprint bandwagon with me about a half a decade ago (mostly because they didn’t care who they went with and Sprint let Mum call me for free all she wanted if she had their phone, too). Unfortunately their new home had terrible Sprint service. Terrible to the point where we literally could use NONE of our phones ANYWHERE on their property. Sprint even came out to check. We bought service booster to no avail and finally Sprint acquiesced and let them out of their contract. They signed up with the only company that worked in their new area: Verizon.

By now Verizon had been gaining ground and was a direct competitor to Sprint, and, in some ways, bypassing Sprint. The rumors of an eventual Sprint iPhone began to emerge, too. Many people I talked to thought this would never happen, and I always dreamed of a Sprint iPhone. By the time my parents jumped ship to Verizon from Sprint, the need for unlimited phone to phone on the same network was a moot point because of the new “unlimited plans”. All the while I was still waiting for a new, awesome phone. By now the best I could come up with were Blackberry phones and my Curve was pretty cool and worked well, but RIM was coming out with their Touch at this time as the next best thing and it flopped terribly (maybe they made money but I didn’t know anyone who liked it). RIM (for non corporation users) seemed to become stagnant and in the meantime this new OS called Android that I’d been hearing rumors about for years really hit mainstream. Verizon grabbed onto the Android market and ran! Partially, I think it was due to their lack of iPhone.

By now I was sick of Sprint. I’d been with them for about a decade and I had good customer service because I knew their key words, I knew who to call, and I knew what to say. (I’d even threatened to leave to get a free Curve when it was released. Yes, Free). Verizon was getting these cool Android phones pushing 1GhZ that had an APP Market that slowly grew to compete with Apple, and Sprint, well, Sprint had nothing. Nada. They had merged with Nextel and that didn’t make sense to anyone except maybe Nextel customers. There were (and still are) a few smaller outfits (like T-Mobile) that never made sense to me and were never really on my radar.

But then the Droid hit the market. I was locked into my Curve contract and knew the wife would not be interested in even hearing about my breaking a contract for something “new & shiny”. I waited. I wanted out. I’d waited long enough.

By now I’d been teaching with Google Tools for years and many times I had to force my mobile to sync with Google (and sometimes paid too much for some desktop APP that would force this) but Android WAS the Google market. It was seamless. It was to be a match made in heaven.

By the time my contract was up with Sprint, the Incredible had been released and it was, well, incredible. The camera alone rivaled anything I’d ever used before getting serious about photography. I could not believe I could do all the awesome things I always needed my computer for on my phone. I wanted it. I had to have it. It would change my life.

So I jumped ship. I told the wife I was adding a line to my parent’s account which would cut my personal bill down (she stubbornly stayed on Sprint and is still there). The week before I bought the new Incredible, Verizon announced their Droid-X. It was as cool as the Incredible but even more incredible! My brother-in-law works in AV so I ordered through him and in a few days I was an Android user. People always asked me why I went to Verizon and I told them honestly that in part it was because I wanted the Ultimate Phone Of All Time: an iPhone, and I had faith that Verizon would get it sooner or later. There was no way I was going to AT&T for it after they pissed me off about the second line for $99 for a flip phone (and yes, I made sure I was very clear it was not a second iPhone).

So the Droid-X was to be my intermediary phone, my transition into the world of the V the Z and the W! I was ready. I got the Droid-X as soon as it came out. Everyone was enamored by it. It was larger but I forgot about the size in a nanosecond. I could read books on it! (I’d been carrying my old phone AND iTouch for books only). Now I could carry just one device and it did everything. The Android Market was my Oyster and it was awesome. My phone was fast, it was cool. The 8mp camera rocked, and I could even shoot HD! I knew others who also bought Droid-X phones and loved ’em.

We loved Android’s Swype input system. Now I could “type” faster than ever, and, sure, it takes getting use to but everything does. When I went back to my iTouch for something I automatically tried to Swype and couldn’t. It didn’t make sense. When we write, we don’t lift our hands so why when we type. I am barely lifting my fingers as I type this out on my MacBook Pro (see, I am invested in Apple!) But the iTouch keyboard was now archaic and annoying! When the Droid2 was released at Christmastime, many people were excited about the upgrade to the flagship Android phone. A good friend of mine bought it, and I was surprised that it had a keyboard. Why bother? It’s like adding a cassette deck to a 21st century stereo. It doesn’t make sense anymore. Well, some people like that. I suppose.

So now it’s been a few years since the iPhone speculation on another carrier was whispered across the nets. And then came the announcement, Verizon! iPhone! Ahhh…. awesomesauce! But was it? Was it too little too late? Sure, it would be exciting! A 4G LTE iPhone 4 on Verizon! Awesome, but NO. This was/is a 3G CDMA ho-hum iPhone. With the iPhone 5 headed to market in summer and 4G Android devices beginning to saturate the market, who cares that much? Well, Verizon did break every pre-sale record in two hours. Yes, two. Did I mention it was 3am-5am. Who gets up that early? I guess all of those people who have been waiting like me for YEARS!

But I didn’t wake up.

I didn’t even roll over in my sleep at 3am. Guess what I have? I have an Android phone. I have this cool OS that has a ton of features, is super fast, and syncs up seamlessly to all of my Google tools. The Market has almost everything I ever need (the only thing I can think of as a I write this that I don’t have is Instagram but PicPlz is gathering speed on Android to replace Instagram’s hype). I have a wildly strong camera, video built in, and speed. I have a phone with removable memory (it doesn’t take a dummy to know a 32G micro SD card is way cheaper than the add-on price for any iPhone storage upgrade, and, of course, I have Swype. And iPhone doesn’t.

When the numbers rolled in from local Apple retails, corporation, and early sales (after the pre-sale hype) from Verizon, guess what? The new Verizon iPhone wasn’t such a big deal. Who cared? According to other releases and records (here, here and here, not a helluva lot of people. Too little too late.

A year ago. Six months ago, I would not write this: I don’t want an iPhone. I love my Android. Dear Apple, you waited too long.

Ordered an iPhone 4...
CC image posted by Chris Pirillo on Flickr