Monday, April 9, 2012

Scan and save - right from your smart phone!

Earlier, one of our blog posts focused on using the copiers in the building as scanners, on which you could make a file and save it to a flash drive.  This week, we introduce you to a way to scan anything - from the convenience of your own classroom, in full color and in a fraction of the time.  In literally ten seconds, you can go from having the item in front of you to having a scanned PDF sitting in your Google Doc account or your Dropbox.  Interested?  Read on...

To do this, you'll need a smart phone - either an Android or an IPhone is fine.  First, get yourself this terrific application: Cam Scanner

 You'll want to get the pro one -- on Android and IPhone, it runs around 4 - 5 bucks.  Once you install it, this app is incredibly easy to use -- start it up, and use your camera phone to take a picture of the document / photo / project.   It can do documents, magazines, white boards... pretty much anything you could want to have saved, it will do...

 The scanner optimizes the image, creating easy-to-read, full color images of your document.

For example, here is an annotated copy of A Midsummer Night's Dream's first scene - I did this five minutes before class began:

I was able to scan 8 pages into one PDF file, which students can now access from home.

I use the scan in class, rather than projecting an open book itself, as the image is crisper than on my document reader, and I don't have to worry about losing the page...

Once you have finished scanning your documents, it's very easy to send it where you need it to go:

You can link it to your Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox... almost any type of cloud storage you're using can accept these PDF files.

Once you select where you want your file to go, all you need to do is follow the on-screen directions to log in to your account with that particular service.

 Here is a basic tutorial / introduction that shows you some of what this tool can do (this is visible on the blog - otherwise follow this link 

So, how to use this in the classroom?

Scan demos of good projects and assignments to show to other classes
Create images of your board notes, that kids can access from home when they need to, and you have them for if and when you need to re-create them.
Make PDFs of chapters / lessons from books, so that students can access online.
Outside of the classroom, this tool is great as well:

Create a dropbox folder for any tax documents / receipts you might need to claim next year, and have them all in one place when this time rolls around next year
Scan any paper bills you get, and keep a virtual folder for your own records...
So, if you need help finding or installing it, just come by and let us know.

Derek & Jeremy

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