Helping Students Overcome Challenges and Achieve High Results with PDFfiller

Occupational therapist

Who?

Lindsey Scheffel is an occupational therapist at Temecula Valley Unified School District in Temecula, California, between San Diego and Los Angeles. Here, the crinkled lines of the map – Glen Oak Hills, De Luz Heights, and Palomar Mountain – converge to form a U of dry rolling hills, in which Temecula is located.

Scheffel works specifically with special needs middle school students between the ages of 11 and 14 to help them with their education and development. Her work demands that she find solutions to the problems her students face and ways to help facilitate and support their educational development.

Temecula education foundationTemecula Dollars for scholarsTemecula valley council PTATemecula student of the month

The Problem

Scheffel was looking for a digital service to assist special needs students with handwriting related problems.

“Special education students are often hindered by their handwriting abilities. They may understand the subject matter and know the answer to a question, but be unable to write it down,” said Scheffel.

Because the problem was a question of communication, rather than comprehension, Scheffel needed a tool that would facilitate students’ ability to articulate themselves through the written word. “I wanted to find a tool that would allow them to work alongside their peers in a classroom on the same assignments without the handwriting holding them back,” said Scheffel.

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Completing assignments through a digital service would mitigate the question of handwriting and make it less of an obstacle to finding success in the classroom.

The Solution

Scheffel “searched the Internet for a tool to do PDF editing and filling in the blanks” and found PDFfiller – the perfect solution for a problem that was plaguing her students. The transition was simple: “It was very user-friendly and easy to figure out. I did have to train the teachers and figure out the correct workflow, but we got through that pretty easily,” Scheffel said.

“I needed the ability to scan and upload a document and send it directly to the student for filling,” said Scheffel. After comparing it to the other online solutions, she realized that PDFfiller offered more flexibility and power than other digital services.

The process of taking a document from concept to completion is quick and easy. Scheffel simply has to scan a document, designate certain fields as fillable, and can then distribute documents for completion to students in just a few clicks.

Before PDFfiller, Scheffel was “setting students up with a blank document to type their answers,” but a simple text-based document wasn’t ideal for a variety of reasons. Blank documents are not as convenient to modify and complete and, most importantly for Scheffel, they don’t look like the papers of their classmates, drawing a distinction between special needs students and others. “I wanted their assignment sheet to look same as their classmates, not just a blank document,” said Scheffel. PDFfiller allows users to preserve formatting while entering text wherever they want.

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PDFfiller works on any Internet-connected device, meaning that Scheffel and her students can work anytime, anywhere. Because “our classrooms have Chromebooks but not PCs, I needed something that would work on a Chromebook,” Scheffel said. Oftentimes students have personal computers at home, and Scheffel “needed something that they can connect to from home to finish their assignment.” PDFfiller allows these students to work alongside their peers on the same assignment and take it home with them,” Scheffel said.

Additionally, PDFfiller is more powerful than standard text-based documents. It allows the user to make specific fields fillable, designate the order of their completion, specify certain fields as mandatory, and even create drop-down menus that allow those completing the form to select from a range of specific answers.

Besides making convenient fillable documents, PDFfiller also makes it easy to customize these documents in a variety of ways. “PDFfiller is easy to use, change font size, drag text around. There is just more you can do with it. PDFfiller was more user friendly [than the competition],” Scheffel said.

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Other instructors have used PDFfiller to create scholarship applications and distribute and receive permission slips. For students who are digital natives completing their homework digitally seems natural. With a digital solution, teachers no longer have to worry about deciphering handwriting. Instead, homework can be distributed, completed, and collected in the click of a mouse.

The uses of an electronic document management platform in the classroom are endless, and going digital makes it easier for teachers and students.

Conclusion

Lindsey Scheffel and fellow teachers in Temecula Valley Unified School District are now using PDFfiller on a daily basis to make documents easier for their students to complete and more comprehensible for peers and teachers.

Ultimately, Scheffel said, PDFfiller “helps remove the handwriting hindrance and move these students forward.”

PDFfiller provides a simple solution to Scheffel’s problem! She envisions it “being used throughout the school district and beyond” to make homework simpler for every student to complete and easier for teachers to collect and grade.

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For the complete paper, click on the link below:

A Helping Hand For a Disabled Student: Completing Homework Digitally

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The Problem

Until last year, Benjamin Landry’s 13-year old son was having difficulty with homework and his disability. Faced with a sizeable workload and struggling to reconcile his handwriting disability with the demands of school, he had to turn to his parents for help. At 13, Landry’s son still wasn’t completing his work independently, instead relying on his parents’ help.

“I was looking for something to help my son with schoolwork. He has a handwriting disability and typing answers are easier than writing,” said Landry.

As a Certified Professional Accountant and business owner, Landry’s time was valuable and he was spending much of his evenings helping his son complete his homework. After searching online, he found a simple, easy to use electronic solution that could help his son improve his ability to do his homework.

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Before starting to use PDFfiller, “my son was dependent on others in order to get his thoughts onto paper in a legible way,” said Landry.

The problem imposed on the lives of Landry and his wife. “Before PDFfiller, my wife and I were having to transcribe his answers for him and his teachers would have to review what he wrote with him in order to understand what was written,” Landry said. His son’s handwriting issue demanded the time and attention of Landry and his wife, while compromising their son’s independence.

After struggling for years with his son, Landry found PDFfiller.

The Solution

Now, Landry’s son has been using PDFfiller “for over a year” on a daily basis. “Once we showed him how it worked, it was easy [for him to use],” Landry said.

Rather than relying on others to transcribe his work for him, now Landry’s son can complete his homework independently. The process is easy:

“We scan and upload his worksheets,” said Landry. “He completes them and then he either emails them directly to his teachers or we print them to be turned in.”

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With its intuitive user interface, using PDFfiller is simple for both Landry and his son. Once homework or a test has been digitized, specific fields can be made fillable using PDFfiller’s drag-and-drop wizard. Landry’s son can type directly onto the document and PDFfiller even allows him to change the font style, size, and color, as well as highlight passages or add sticky notes. Once completed, documents can be sent to any number of recipients, including already saved contacts, in a click of the mouse and without ever leaving PDFfiller.

“We liked that we could upload his school papers [and] his teachers can send him his tests and he can fill them out with his computer,” said Landry.

While PDFfiller makes it easier for students to complete documents by allowing them to do so digitally, schools and teachers can also benefit. In fact, PDFfiller can be as beneficial for teachers as it is for students. PDFfiller allows teachers to distribute documents to all of their students in just a click and then collect them once completed automatically. Having students type their submitted work makes it easier for teachers to read, store, and process it than with a paper-based solution.

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Making homework easy means that documents need to be simple to upload, edit, and send — PDFfiller does all the hard work, allowing Landy’s son to complete and turn in neatly printed assignments on time.

Conclusion

Because PDFfiller allows Landy’s son to type directly onto any document, the homework process is easier for student, parent, and teacher. Circumventing his handwriting disability, Landy’s son has found independence through a digital solution, creating neat, legible documents himself that his teachers no longer have any problem reading. Landy, meanwhile, has freed up time for personal and professional pursuits. Completing and turning in homework has never been easier than it is with PDFfiller.

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For the complete paper, click on the link below:

Using Digital Documents to Improve Scholarship Application Success Rates

Scholarship

Who ]

Amy Gladden is a counselor for a school district in, “right on Highway 7… in the middle of the Davy Crockett National Forest,” she said. Rather than the stereotypical Texan landscape of dust and oil wells, this region of the state is a bucolic, lushly forested oasis that seems closer to the terrain of New England than the deep south. But Gladden’s rich, distinctive Texan drawl gives her location away. Here, in East Texas, Gladden is responsible for 275 students from 3 to 18 years old.

The Problem ]

Gladden’s position as a counselor for the school district means that she has to fill in scholarship applications for her students. These applications are of critical importance to her students – getting them right is crucial.

“[I was] trying to find a program that let me fill in scholarships for kids so they were not handwritten and so they were nice and neat. We were hoping it would give the kids a little bit of an edge in scholarships,” Gladden said.

But before Gladden found PDFfiller, she was stuck using a typewriter in an attempt to create neat scholarship applications – the solution was clumsy and slow. “I used an electric typewriter,” before switching to PDFfiller, Gladden said – “definitely old school.”

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Now, however, Gladden has modernized her workflow, integrating PDFfiller’s completely digital solution, making neat, typewritten scholarship applications easier than ever to create.

The Solution ]

Switching to PDFfiller was easy. “I find [PDFfiller] to be user friendly,” said Gladden. “I was using a typewriter before, so it’s not that I’m tech savvy” – instead, PDFfiller’s online access and clear user interface makes completing documents digitally simple.

The digital solution to creating neat, typewritten scholarship applications is easy: “I automatically upload [scholarship applications] to PDFfiller,” said Gladden. Applications can be downloaded from the internet or from emails and then uploaded to PDFfiller or alternatively, paper documents can be scanned and then uploaded.

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Because they are coming from everywhere – the internet, emails, scholarship databases, or directly from organizations like the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, or the Masonic Lodge, Gladden needed an easy way to collate these applications as well as complete and save them.

“The students fill out the scholarships… bring the paperwork to me and then I use what they’ve written and I [use] PDFfiller to type everything in and then I print that out,” said Gladden.

Editing documents and adding information with PDFfiller is simple. Once the documents have been uploaded, PDFfiller’s powerful document editing tools enable Gladden to write directly onto scholarship applications, changing the font as necessary. PDFfiller even allows you to highlight, redact, edit, and add sticky notes to documents in just a click.

The result is neater, more legible documents. “Everything is typed and looks nice and neat,” said Gladden.

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“It’s all about presentation,” said Gladden. “Definitely [it’s an aesthetic thing]. And I definitely think it gives us an edge.”

And though Gladden began using PDFfiller for scholarship applications, now she is using it daily for all her administrative work. “This is my second year (using PDFfiller) daily. Now we use it not just for scholarships, but if I have a field trip form, I use PDFfiller to fill that out. Nothing leaves my office that’s handwritten… any form that I can scan and put in PDFfiller, I do it,” Gladden said.

Because Gladden is on a deadline when completing scholarship applications, completing documents digitally allows her to streamline her workflow and decrease her turnaround time.

Advanced features like LinkToFill, SendToSign, Fill In Bulk and templates enable users to expedite their digital document workflow.

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LinkToFill allows users to send documents to other users with customized fillable fields that make them quick to complete.

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SendToSign can help you distribute digital documents to others to return instantly with their legally-binding digital signature in just a click.

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Fill In Bulk lets you mitigate the tedious and time-consuming process of adding information to multiple versions of the same form.

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Creating Templates in PDFfiller makes it easy to add basic information to multiple documents and then complete customized fields manually for any number of forms and whenever necessary.

Moreover, through PDFfiller’s online interface, it’s easy to send your completed documents to your intended recipients.

Documents are saved on secure servers accessible anytime, anywhere, and from any internet-connected device. This means that you can complete forms from any device and access your data wherever you happen to be. Work from the train, from home, or at your office and keep all your documents synchronized.

Conclusion ]

PDFfiller is the easiest way to complete digital documents online. A range of powerful features combined with easy to use document annotation tools make it simple to take your document workflow digital. For Amy Gladden, using PDFfiller has helped make her scholarship applications neater and, she says, improved her students’ success rate.

“I have recommended it to everyone,” said Gladden – “I really love PDFfiller, and I use it every single day.”

For the complete paper, click on the link below:

An Integration to Streamline Internal Document Management Workflows

Cover-Blog-Crisis
THE ISSUE
Automating Production
of Certificates of Excellence
With a fast-growing network of over 1500 volunteers, Crisis Text Line wanted to recognize their volunteer’s outstanding crisis response efforts. As part of expanding the volunteer onboarding process, Crisis Text Line wanted to speed up the creation of two kinds of certificates; one for graduation from a 34-hour crisis response training program, and another for the completion of a year’s worth of service. To do this, the nonprofit needed a way to automatically generate certificates that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer network.

Crisis Text Line is the first national 24/7 crisis support line that does crisis intervention all through text message. With 20 million text messages in 3 years and 8 active rescues a day, Crisis Text Line needed a system with the capacity to keep up with the speed, growth, and the critical nature of their operations. Crisis Text Line had used open-source PDF libraries in the past, but now they wanted to find a way to automatically generate a certificate that was simple, flexible, and easy to integrate with their volunteer database and computer.

THE SOLUTION
PDFfiller’s API for
Filling PDFs
After identifying PDFfiller’s API as a tool with the ideal feature set, Crisis Text Line created a new integration with the capacity to streamline all kinds of internal document management workflows, including tools to automate document filling, signature collection, and custom branding.

To start the process of automatically filling certificates, Crisis Text Line uses PDFfiller to create a base template embedded with the signature of the granting organization and with fillable fields for volunteer data. Then, using a pre-determined trigger, the volunteer names and the date of course completion are sent in a data call for automatic filling via the API. For the recipients of one-year certificates, Crisis Text Line also sends the number of conversations the volunteers have taken, as well as the number of hours they’ve spent in those conversations.

Once the certificate is automatically filled with data by PDFfiller’s API, Crisis Text Line gets a link to the hosted version of the PDF and sends it to the volunteers in a congratulations email they receive when they’ve completed the program. It’s that simple! Now that this initial part of the process is complete, Crisis Text Line can take the next step of using PDFfiller’s API to automatically send out their certificates.

THE BENEFITS OF
USING PDFfiller
A Flexible Tool and a
Developer Focus
Saving Time & Money

Using PDFfiller’s API for automated certificate filling has picked up the pace of production, enabling Crisis Text Line to generate around 300-500 certificates a month. The process for the creation of both types of certificates is completely automated, and essentially runs itself. With the API integration in place, Crisis Text Line can easily meet their future goal of accommodating triple the current number of volunteers.

We knew that this was a tool that would do something quickly for us, we were able to build on top of PDFfiller very quickly and so it worked. We operate very much like a Startup in that when we need a problem solved right now, we pick the very best thing.

— Chris Johnson, CTO, Crisis Text Line
Easy Customization

As an organization with in-house technical capacity and a creative, do-it-yourself mindset, It was important to Crisis Text Line to identify a technology that was easy to work with. They were particularly drawn to PDFfiller for its flexibility and the minimal time and effort investment required to get a system ready to go into production.

PDFfiller Support has been extremely responsive to each of my requests, usually responding back within an hour or two of me reaching out, each time with responses that have succinctly answered my quandaries.

— Toshiro Kida, engineer, Crisis Text Line

 

Responsive Technical Support

PDFfiller’s technical support team is committed to working with Crisis Text Line to come up with solutions that meet their needs, in particular a secure and simple authentication mechanism. In providing assistance with this feature, and during the overall onboarding process, PDFfiller was able to respond to the needs of Crisis Text Line quickly and efficiently.

PDFfiller for
Crisis Text Line:
Building a Better Solution

As Crisis Text Line’s team of volunteers grows, PDFfiller can help them respond to new automation challenges. While their current application is fairly simple – filling and retrieval of PDF certificates – the feature set of PDFfiller’s API will allow for the automation of other document management workflows as the need arises.

More importantly, PDFfiller is already positioned to meet the needs of organizations that work with other kinds of online business management tools. Crisis Text Line currently plans to use Salesforce as a customer relationship management tool. CTO Chris Johnson was excited to learn that a PDFfiller Salesforce app already exists that allows Salesforce users to easily edit, redact and sign PDF documents without ever leaving the Salesforce platform.

According to Crisis Text Line, the graduation and recognition certificates play an important role in recruiting, as well as creating a unified and proud volunteer network. The application of PDFfiller’s API for certificate creation is a reflection of Crisis Text Line’s belief in using data science and technology to make crisis intervention faster and more accurate. Working with PDFfiller is making it easier for Crisis Text Line to recognize volunteer excellence, which in turn is helping Crisis Text Line build better solutions to support those in crisis.

For the complete paper, click on the link below:

pdf  PDFfiller & Crisis Text Line Whitepaper

Make School Paperwork Paperless

Make All Your School Paperwork Paperless!

Are you headed back to school?

If so, then we’ve got some great tools that will help you start this school year on top of your game.  Whether you are a student, teacher, or administrator, PDFfiller can give you an edge in managing all your school paperwork.

As a student, we know that more and more school paperwork is handled online, from registrations forms to reading assignments. What you need is a platform with flexible tools to help you deal with your documents digitally.

• Do you have a highlighting habit?  Use our online editor to highlight or underline, add stickies, or even do some digital doodling!
• Have you been assigned to work on group projects? Collaboratively edit your documents online with PDFfiller’s share feature that lets you work with up to ten friends at once.
• Want to work on the way to and from campus? PDFfiller’s mobile app allows you to work from any mobile device so you can work on your documents anytime, anywhere.

For the teachers and administrators out there, it’s important to stay on top of digital trends and make them work for you.

• Have you been chasing after signatures from faculty and parents?  PDFfiller’s SendtoSign feature makes signature request simple, allowing you to request digital signatures and to track all responses online.
• Printing, xeroxing and distributing paper copies of school forms?  Try using PDFfiller’s LinkToFill, which helps you distribute and collect fillable school forms online.
• Getting stuck with the ancient school fax machine? Try sending your documents by efax instead.

With features that help to streamline your workflow, PDFfiller gives you everything you need to make the grade this school year.  Give it a try and see how you can make all your school paperwork paperless!