Save Paper with Clean Print
Classroom Tools on January 13 2014
Printing from web sites has always been a tricky endeavour. Scrap paper bins by many printers are filled with ad-riddled wasted paper. Asking permission before printing from a web site was one of my rules in my middle school computer lab and many computer teachers ban printing in the lab altogether. A recent visit to cnn.com introduced me to a revolutionary tool for web printing called Clean Print.
With Clean Print, using the print function button for an article on CNN’s website first brings up the Clean Print window. This tool allows you to save any article as a PDF, regardless of the browser you are using, and this is just one of the cool things that Clean Print can do.
The tools on the left hand side of the window allow you to change the size of the text, make the text grayscale to save on toner, remove pictures, and even add a note to the top of the article. The green bar on top gives an estimate of the number of pages your article will take.
The coolest thing about Clean Print is that it actually lets you remove text from the article you want to print. Hovering over the article provides you with a red “X” which lets you remove paragraphs from the article.
This is great if you want to shorten an article for a particular group of kids or create two versions of an article to have students analyze the articles for missing information.
CNN has partnered with Clean Print to have the tool integrated into their site, but you can actually download Clean Print as a browser tool. Navigating to http://www.formatdynamics.com/bookmarklets/ will take you to the download site for whatever browser you are using. There are step by step installation instructions on the site.
Using the Clean Print browser toolbar gives you even more options than on CNN.com. When you click on the Clean Print tool, you get a window which allows you to save or export to:
- Your installed printer
- Google cloud print
- PDF file
- Text file, which can be opened with Word
- Drop Box
- Google Drive
- Box (as a .pdf or a word document)
- Kindle (not on Internet Explorer)
Obviously, you can now print copies for your students without wasting too much paper, especially if you print double sided. If your school doesn’t have access to the Internet, this tool will allow you to save any website as a PDF using any browser. You can then show and annotate PDFs using the SMART Ink Document Viewer (see below for info on how use SMART Ink Document Viewer). If you have Internet and your students have email addresses, you can email them the content or save to Dropbox or Google Drive, and share the content with your students. The possibilities for classroom use are endless!
You can find videos on using the SMART Ink Document Viewer below.