Posts in Category "Adobe Acrobat"

July 24, 2013

Adobe EchoSign – Huge Potential to Save Time and Money!

EchoSign Testimonial

Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.

 “Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total).  A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning….), with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself.  I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes).  Incredible!”

Mike
CCISD

Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break.  Without the letter, districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”

 So…what is EchoSign?

Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.

EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents.  The most common documents formats used with EchoSign are:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Common image formats

 

With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported.  EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.

As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer me a digital signature option.  For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade.  She could use EchoSign to complete this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, adds a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip to the parents via email.

I would receive the email on my mobile phone, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip with my finger (touch devices are amazing)!   For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus.  I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds.  The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).

For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule.  The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.

“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”

That is a great question!  If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery.  However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.

More on EchoSign security…

I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing.  For example, a change of course document may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college.  If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process.  EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.

Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.

  • Contracts
  • HR Documents
  • Permission Slips
  • Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
  • Progress Reports
  • University change-of-course forms
  • Student Parking Forms
  • Student Housing Forms

…and the list goes on!

Fantastic!  How can I get it?

There are a few ways to purchase EchoSign.

  • Signup Online by going to www.echosign.adobe.com (great for individuals or small teams)
  • Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases).  I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.  

When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.

Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!

 

Scott Trudeau
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
Education

For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau 

www.scotttrudeau.com

6:14 PM Permalink
June 24, 2012

My Campus, My Classroom & Me

The connected world is such a wonderful thing! As an educator, it keeps you in a constant state of excitement plus some trepidation thrown in.

The thoughts are always there….Will I try to implement this software in my classroom because I know it will work? Will I try this new Web 2.0 tool that I found on the net? Will I try & use this in my classroom with the chance that it will be an epic fail? And the answer is predominately YES!!

Currently our campus is going through a massive focus reshift as we no longer have any externally based assessments to teach to (the NSW School Certificate in particular). We are now moving into a realm of certification and this is going to be really exciting (for me at least) but there are some who will not be as excited to let go of years of emotional attachment to content & the way in which it is presented. We are trying to move our school to a healthy mix of Assessment of Learning  & Assessment of Learning. In our rapidly changing classroom environment, I believe they both need to coexist for students to be able to learn at their best.

As we are all aware, IT Education needs both (learn to use the software so you can implement it into your classroom & the same for students). Our Year 9 students have classes in using their laptop that the DEC issued them term 1 as part of the Digital Education Revolution. These classes have been enormously successful as the devices have a massive amount of software on them, including the Adobe Design Premium Suite of software. The devices are in a ‘locked down’ environment (specified by the department) and that has more benefits than drawbacks (less troubleshooting time involved). This means that we can maximise the student usage of the devices in the classroom & minimise downtime for all concerned. 

We are in a phase of restructuring with plans in place in 2012 for our refocus to kickstart in 2013. We are putting into place training for all of our year cohorts with the ideal situation being that they all receive an IT accreditation each of the 4 years that they attend our campus. Our staff are currently also in the training phase, with initially interested teachers being targeted with the idea of all staff being involved after the evaluation of the 2013 pilot program. Our students will all have globally-recognised IT skills & abilities that they can use to further their education or gain employment. And that for me, as an IT educator, is extremely gratifying.

At the heart of this new certification age is the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro X &, in particular, ePortfolios. As it is pre-installed onto the device, all content created on the device can be easily converted by Acrobat by the students, and then either submitted for assessment ( we use Moodle at our campus), or archived ready to be added to later or taken with them when they leave our campus. We extensively use Microsoft OneNote at our ca mpus and our students submit their notebooks for assessment each term by creating a PDF and submitting for content approval, a lso done in Acrobat with the use of Comments & stamps. The majority of the content is brought together in Acrobat and directions/instructions are put on each PDF, which speeds up availability of content.

Acrobat Pro X is the glue that binds our digitallly-based, paper-free, IT courses together.

I will keep you updated throughout the semester with how our students, staff & administrators are moving towards the next exciting phase of our journey.

Thanks

Ross

 

 

10:57 PM Permalink
February 23, 2011

Adobe Forms Central

We all know the implications of illiteracy as students move into the workforce. Too many students cannot write a coherent paragraph or comprehend basic reading passages. Students who have demonstrated grade level literacy skills have recently produced formal essays that consist of texting-gibberish infused with a few multisyllabic words that they got from a quick word search. You know all ofthis because the battle over reading and writing is fought in every classroom, every day.

I pursue literacy with zeal in my graphic design, art, and yearbook classes. Students read and write two times per week about every aspect of art and design that is relevant to their field of study . Years ago, I created reading passages with InDesign and printed them off for students to finish in class. I added photographs, diagrams and illustrations to reading/writing worksheets to make content comprehensible for English learners, but I had to print them out in B&W. Occasionally I would print out worksheets in color and laminate them so that they could be used for following semesters.

I create lessons with Captivate but I wanted an easier solution to create successful reading/writing lessons. In March 2010 I started the move to computer-based literacy activities. I now create interactive .pdfs that make it possible for students to engage with lessons that reach all levels of literacy. But what about the dilemma of collecting, reading, grading and giving feedback on all of those scribbled sheets of paper? I attempted to use Acrobat Forms with my lessons, but had difficulty doing so because of cyber blocks from the IT department. Then, I found GoogleDocs and used Acrobat worksheets with a link to online Google Forms.

As a solid advocate of Adobe products, I kept my use of Google Docs/Forms quiet hoping for an Adobe solution and it is here: Adobe Forms Central. It integrates perfectly with the lessons that I create.

  • More engaging lessons. No more predictable B&W paper worksheets.
  • Less time reading essays. I don’t have to lug home piles of papers with illegible handwriting
  • Better teacher feedback. Students don’t have to try and read my scribbled, hasty “red-ink” corrections and comments

For each lesson, I develop an InDesign document that is loaded with audio, video, images, captions, and diagrams. The finished interactive .pdf file has links to Adobe Forms that (unlike Google Forms) have the same .pdf images to further aid understanding. I make the .pdfs available online for students to download. ELL students can translate the interactive .pdfs and more easily capture the gist of the lesson from the visuals ; I can sort the students’ answers and essays (for easier grade input); and using Acrobat, I can convert the answers to a .pdf file , mark them up, and “stamp” grades on each essay (How to use Acrobat Custom Stamps: http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/acrobat/articles/acr8at_stamptools.html).

But the best news is: students’ are writing more than they were before. Their essays are longer and the writing has improved because the feedback they get is more consistent and thorough than the old “red pen” approach. At first I thought it was the novelty of the new approach, but as this school year progresses, I am finding that 21st century student learning and engagement happens best when students use the tools they’re excited about.

3:08 AM Permalink
October 24, 2010

Acrobat X Partner in Productivity – Adobe LiveCycle ES2

Our Special Education Department has been trying to solve a communication challenge with the school counselors in our building.  The process of building a unique schedule for each new student coming into our high school.  The school counselors are responsible for building the schedule, plus making sure each student is being placed in the correct classes for graduation.  The building of this draft schedule involves case managers, school psychologists, and school counselors.  I decided to build a communication device in Adobe LiveCycle, a PDF form (draft schedule form)  so each party could fill in their piece of a student’s schedule using a electronic process.   The goal is to move away from random sticky notes, and pieces of paper and emails from case managers and school psychologist to a digital way to collect, transfer and store information on a student’s drafted schedule.  The reason why I use LiveCycle sometimes to build a PDF form is because I like the look and feel of the application.   It feels like I am in Adobe InDesign CS5 and/or Adobe Illustrator CS5 as I am designing the PDF form.  I have built many forms using Adobe Acrobat, but sometimes I like to work in a fluid environment like Adobe LiveCycle.  At the same time, I discovered I could “Copy” and  “Paste” fields in a productive way.  Adobe LiveCycle would create a unique field name for me, even if I was cloning the same “Text Field” over and over again.  I think this is totally awesome!  In the past, I would have needed to go back and created unique names for each field, taking a great amount of time to complete a project.  Also, I discovered “Tab Order.”  I loved the ability to create all of my fields and then have Adobe LiveCycle re-order my fields automatically in sequential order for easy tabbing through a PDF document.  I would recommend Adobe LiveCycle ES2 the next time you create a PDF form.  I am having a great time learning and using this powerful and productive application.  Thanks again Adobe for creating such useful software for K12/Higher Education!

Dave Forrester, Adobe Education Leader

7:02 PM Permalink
May 4, 2010

Does Data Based Decision making ignore Qualitative Research?

There is a strong push in educational administration to use data driven decision making. On the surface, it looks to be a very sound concept. What are the test scores, what subsections are strongest, what needs to be improved? In the test driven educational environment, it is difficult to argue with those priorities.
Yet as educators, we know there are always two faces to tests. There are the hard scores, ideally (But not always – see Texas ) based on non-politicized, well researched questions, and there is the story of the individual students, some of whom make heroic gains while struggling against incredibly difficult home lives to make substantial gains.
We have always known about this in education, and consequently, research has branched into two widely respected fields, quantitative research, (by the numbers) and qualitative research (by the case, or individual). My concern and the concern of many is that we have gone too far to the side of numerical analysis, and over reliance on test scores, and have ignored the qualitative aspects.
So why write about this in an Adobe blog? Because Adobe provides a tremendous amount of qualitative support options for education. Acrobat’s ePortfolio capabilities provide educators a chance to look in-depth at what students are doing, how they are doing it, and how they reflect upon that process. While it is not the only tool around for doing this, it is certainly an effective one.
When looking at the Adobe product line, there are many, many tools that assist in the achievement of higher order thinking skills, and 21st century skills and few that contribute to quantitative analysis. This is because it is harder to measure higher order thinking quantitatively, not because of any lack in the toolset. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the new digital divide emerging, one where rich kids go to school to learn how to tell the computer what to do, and to create, and one where poor kids go to school, and learn how to take orders from the computer, and how to do worksheets in a computer.
What experiences would you like your child to have? What products have they produced this school year?

8:09 AM Permalink
December 28, 2009

Print Screen – PDF from Clipboard – Instant Web Content using Adobe Acrobat Pro

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One of my good friends from Adobe showed me this cool little trick using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Basically, anyone can create instant web based content by pressing “Print Screen” on a keyboard using a PC; I am not sure what the same function is on a Mac. Next, go to the “Create” menu item inside Adobe Acrobat Pro and select “PDF from Clipboard” and Voila! Your screen capture will appear inside Adobe Acrobat Pro as magic. Once the screen capture is inside Adobe Acrobat Pro, there are several cooler operations one can perform by using “Add Sticky Note” found within the “Comments” menu item and “Comments & Markup” under the “Tools” menu inside Acrobat Pro. The sticky notes can be helpful when adding comments to a particular section of an article or web page for review. The mark-up tools can be used to highlight or point to a section of content that should be emphasized. At the same time, one can published these screen captured PDFs to an Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional account or upload these PDF files inside a “File Sharing Pod” inside a “ConnectNow” Meeting Room at Acrobat.com to be viewed or shared by others during an online session. So, go ahead and try this cool, tech trick and let me know what you think?
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My Connect Card

9:34 PM Permalink
October 6, 2009

Low Cost, Green Technology, High Organizational Impact – Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro

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Ancient civilizations used Adobe to build houses which led to the building of communities. The low cost of using mud and straw to build infrastructure was accessible to the masses. Today, modern educators are using Adobe to build educational communities and web infrastructure for the future. The mud and straw has been replaced with air, clouds, and Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. The low cost of a Hosted Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro account will make a tremendous impact and improvement on any school district. The technology delivered from Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro can bring in new tools and services to a school organization. One low cost Hosted Acrobat Connect Pro account resource can be spread across a school district to: build a help desk system, allow for online meetings with telephone integration and recording capabilities, long-distance interviewing for new positions for the district office or school buildings, online professional development, online training, live recordings of teacher lectures posted to the web for students who are sick or need extra help, digital newsletter, web presentations, software trainings and simulations, collaboration and sharing of expertise beyond school district boundaries. I would encourage every educator to use Adobe to build a new place for learning, growing, and help students strive for excellence. Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro is the modern building block, so roll up your sleeves, reach for the sky, and start building a new educational community for the future.
Adobe Connect Pro Resource Map
Online AP Calculus Lectures – Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro/Smart Board Integration
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My Connect Card
Jackie Specht’s Connect Card

8:23 PM Permalink
July 29, 2009

LiveCycle Designer ES – Adobe Acrobat Pro’s Cinderella

Many educators have heard about the wonderful ways you can use Adobe Acrobat to create classroom materials like worksheets, forms and portfolios. Don’t get me wrong. This is really cool stuff. But today I want to talk about a hidden gem. Bundled with your Windows version of Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended is a lesser known, elegant and robust application called LiveCycle Designer ES. LC Designer is a full-featured form design application that enables you to create electronic forms using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface. I will be honest here. LC Designer is not for the novice user. If all you want to do is take an MS Word document, convert it and make a nifty form, then by all means use the Form Wizard in Acrobat. But if you want more form options, a more flexible layout, and the ability to easily edit your form design, then you really should give LC Designer a test drive.
Last year, I was asked to make changes to our school’s progress report card. I had previously created the progress report card in MS Word and then used Acrobat’s Form Wizard to create a pdf form. This seemed to be a great solution until I had to make changes to the content in the progress report card. Of course, I couldn’t edit the text in the pdf document. To make the necessary changes I had to revise the original MS Word document, convert it to pdf and then create all of the form fields again. I had close to 80 form fields in the progress report card and I wasn’t happy about having to create them again. Clearly, I needed a different product to tackle this job. Out of desperation I scoured my hard drive for something else and stumbled across LC Designer. With LC Designer I was able to create all the elements I needed in my form from scratch, including static text, design elements and a wide variety of form fields. I had more control over the layout and functionality of the form, and best of all, it was a breeze to edit when I needed to make changes after publishing the form. The following screenshots show the LiveCycle interface and what the final progress report card looks like in Adobe Reader.
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7:37 AM Permalink
November 16, 2008

Using Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro to Create Professional Staff Development Workshops

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I have been using Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro for the past couple of years and have discovered four professional staff development workshop models which anyone can create and deploy. The models are from beginner to advanced. A person just needs Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and/or Presenter 7, a Powerpoint, a simple VoIP headset and/or microphone and an audience. I have provided everyone with a link to four Powerpoint slides that will visually describe the set-up and resources needed to create and deploy these types of workshops.
Staff Development Workshop Models
Dave Forrester
Adobe Education Leader

8:57 PM Permalink
October 5, 2008

Technology tool helps counselors publish professional web presentations

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School counseling teams face similar challenges across the K-12 education system when it comes to communicating with students and parents: How do we develop and distribute information to large audiences in our school community on an annual basis? A solution to this question is to use a simple tool that converts a PowerPoint presentation with recorded audio to a professional web presentation. Presenter 7 is the tool of choice for our school counseling team when we want to create a professional web presentation to parents, students, and the community. The beauty of creating a presentation with Presenter 7 is the challenges of distribution and access to information are solved immediately. The content that was once accessed one time during an evening parent night can now be viewed twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.
Links:
Read Full Article
Olympia High School Website – Presentations
Dave Forrester
Adobe Education Leader

4:10 PM Permalink