The UDL Educational Technology Guide 2019-2020: Technology for Special Education

John F. O'Sullivan

Subsection 5 OCR Note Taking/Websites

OCR or optical character recognition is a big area of growth. Different programs are adding OCR to enhance their products. This is huge for special needs students. All students with executive function issues benefit. Special needs students that have difficulty with verbal directions are more likely to be able to understand assignments with the added benefit of written directions. OCR makes that more likely. Word prediction was assistive technology until mainstream software developers saw the need for elsewhere. Word prediction is on every smartphone made today and in many programs. I see OCR becoming standard in the future. We just have to get the teachers and schools to understand the benefits and use the product. The technology has evolved where handwritten notes can be easily turned to text. This is done with mainstream products like Google. The future is bright for OCR. 

Rocketbook Honorable Mention 

This is the idea that you never ever have to buy a new notebook ever again. You use the same re-usable notebook and upload the documents to whatever, online storage service you want to. Rocketbook uses OCR optical character recognition to turn handwriting into text. The process is not perfect. However, this concept is very forward thinking. Google Drive has OCR technology to convert handwriting to text. The technology is starting to spread to other software providers.

Rocketbook OCR


This is a tablet that is like writing on paper. You can write and sketch on as many virtual pieces of paper as you like. The tablet organizes all your notes. This is a good product for a student that only wants to carry one notebook. What takes this product to another level is it converts your handwriting to text. This feature is called optical character recognition. You have a buy the tablet to use the product, but the concept is interesting and useful. If you need to have your notes typed, you take a lot of notes and are willing to buy a higher-end product then this is worth a look.

Google Keep

This is an awesome note-taking and organization tool that integrates with the rest of Google products.


Microsoft makes an excellent product for note-taking.

OneNote Web Clipper


This is a very good notetaking website. You can use this service on a number of different platforms.

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