Change page dimensions of .PDF files

Re-sizing .PDF dimensions

Have you ever found or generated a .PDF file and wished it was a different size or dimension?  No?  You need to get out more! is an easy-to-use site that accepts .PDF files and lets you change how they print out.

This site also helps you to merge / combine multiple PDFs into one file, compress PDF files so that they’re a smaller (disk space, not print size), or convert common files into PDFs or other image types.


  • Take an existing (portrait) document and scale it down and print it landscape, leaving room for students to annotate on one or both sides, depending on how you set it up.
  • Re size existing files for professional printing (tickets, playbills, book publishing, etc.)
  • Enlarge print by printing to larger paper
  • Drive Tom Rubino crazy by printing!

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Record your Desktop and Audio with Screencastify


Using the Chrome browser (I swear, Tom isn’t making me post this), you can quickly install an extension that gives you a quick and easy way to record full video of your computer’s desktop and audio if you wish.  Screencastify is a great program that lets you save videos to your computer, your Google Drive, or even post directly to YouTube.  It’s the program I use to make my tutorial videos, and some teachers have been using it to create flipped instructional videos and assess work.  The video below is a great explanation of how to install and use the program.  Bonus: It’s not me yapping.  Like the video suggests, I would save my videos to Google Drive because you can access them from anywhere and you have unlimited storage.

But, I don’t make tutorial videos, so why or how could I use this?  I’m glad you asked.

  • Don’t have a fancy Smartboard, but you want to post your notes?  Record your lecture along side a PowerPoint or explanation of any other document you’d project for the class.  Now students can listen to a lecture again later or catch up if absent.
  • Demonstrate how you want something done with narration.  Hit record, and don’t worry about a script or perfection.  I might model how I want a particular paper written, narrating my thoughts as I go.  I’ll post a sample when I get a chance.
  • Grade aloud.  (I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from Caitlin Hussey but don’t tell her).  Pull up a student’s paper or project that’s been shared with you, and record yourself as you read/grade the paper/project.  I’ve found that no matter how I’ve tried to phrase my written comments in the past, some students read into them in a way I didn’t intend.  Recording allows you to “conference,” and elaborate on your feedback without having to write it all down.  Even better, the student now has something he/she can go back to and listen to / watch again as he/she revises.  Even the best conferences might not leave a lasting impression by the time the student sits down to revise.
  • Don’t want to do this on your own?  Call a student up to your desk and record the conference so he/she can use it later.
  • Focus in on particular aspects of online content.  Found a cool 3-D model you want to show, but you just want to focus in on one aspect?  Record just what you want and show it in class or post it online.


I’m sure you could come up with many other applications.  I believe in you.  So does John McCain.

What do I need?

If you want to just record video with no audio, all you need is Chrome and Screencastify.  If you want to record your voice, you’ll need a microphone.  Surface 2 and 3 users have one built in to their machine.  Computer microphones are pretty cheap for this kind of application.  I also have some you can borrow if you want to try it out first.

Sharing my Videos

Depending on what you filmed, you’re going to share your masterpieces a couple of ways.

  • Whole-class instructional video or demonstration:  Save the video to your Google Drive and then either share it with the class,  post it to your online class page, or simply bring it up to play during class time.
  • Private student feedback: Still record to Google Drive, but this time share the movie just with the student in question.

Go forth and Screencastify!

John McCain is depending on you.

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Search and Save Images the Right Way

While opening up your search engine, typing in “cats dressed like old people,” and saving an image or two for use in your class might be quick and hilarious, did you know it’s possibly a copyright violation?

While we are granted some freedoms in education through fair use clauses, we’re not exempt, and we can still have action brought against us, forced to demonstrate how and why our fair use exempts us.  Sounds like fun, right?

How about we skip all of that together and search the right way.  In about two extra clicks, you can still get those cat images–not sure why you’re searching for that kind of thing, but hey, it’s a free country–and you’ll be free from copyright woes.  Both Bing and Google  give you a two-click solution.

In Google, once you’ve searched for your cats, click on search tools, then usage rights, and finally click on labeled for reuse with modification for the greatest legal right to use that image however you want!


Click to zoom

In Bing, search your image, then click license.  Basically anything other than “all” will give you safer results.


Click to zoom

Happy image hunting, weirdo!

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