Friday, March 9, 2012

DocScan HD

I find so many useful and great apps, but it is so hard to review all of them.  I recently was reminded of a fairly slick app, called DocScan HD, when I needed to quickly send a copy of one of my cue cards to a teacher who was working with a student.  DocScan HD is also free, with an upgrade purchase available. Why use DocScan HD?  It avoids running to the copier or scanner to scan the materials. Why not just use the iPad camera? could do that as well; however, DocScan HD allows you to 'play' with the document.  So instead of taking forever to try to position the iPad camera at the right angle (that you would need to do if sending a regular photo), you can just snap a pic using DocScan.  If it is crooked, oh can fix that!  Here are some of the other things you can do:
--change color to black/white
--change document aspect ratio
--change the brightness
--change the rotation
--draw on the document (change pen size, hue, saturation, etc)
--highlight on the document (using the pen, you need to change the 'alpha' option)

Here are some screen shots of a quick cue card that I made for some students who were struggling with asking questions..not my best sample, but it will do!
 Begin by taking a picture of the document that you want.  I try to take a decent shot.

 Next, crop and adjust the lines...basically you are cropping out the background.

 This is how the document now looks after I cropped and adjusted it.

This option allows you to write on the document.

Above, I demonstrated how you can highlight words using the pen, just change the transparency (marked 'Alpha').

This last screen shot is a cue card that I made for a student who is learning to use Dragon Dictation to assist in the writing process.  I make these cards (and variations of them) for many of my students.

Here are some examples of how I use this app:
--Since I have access to 2 iPads, each student was able to use an iPad with the cue card displayed.  Yes, they could just use the cue card, but this was more novel...and saves paper on my end...especially as a traveling therapist!

--You can also access your camera I can use the highlighter and pen for other pictures/documents in my camera roll.

--You can save documents within this app...I save my commonly used cue cards and some other materials that I make.

--You can send any documents through email, or export to other locations: other apps, google docs, dropbox, evernote, etc.  You can also air print directly from this app...which I have done, it's great!

--I can easily scan articulation or language homework sheets...adjust the image...and send the document to parents for home practice.  Parents can choose to print the document, practice on the computer with their child, or if the family has an iPad, the child can practice directly on the iPad.  I have several students who complete home practice in this manner...they know where to find their homework in the camera roll on their home iPad!  The students really enjoy taking ownership in sending the homework to themselves and being able to access it from home!  Anything to increase home practice!

--My students also enjoy making their own cue cards...they can then scan the cue card or graphic organizer, crop/adjust the document and send it to their parent.  This in itself is a fun lesson for sequencing and retelling "how did we do that?"

--For home use, my husband and have used this app to scan/send copies of receipts or documents...including taking a picture of an official document, scanning it with the app, cropping it to make it look nice, and signing on the signature line...then sending the document back.  You can do all of this with a scanner or fax, but it's sometimes easier/quicker to use the iPad. 

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