Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mobile in the Classroom: Office Lens

Who uses this handy survival tool? image What does Office Lens do? Something vastly better than taking a picture of a piece of paper.  It takes a picture of a document: image(Actual angle of document in picture) And then it justifies the angle, corrects the color, and makes cropping the picture easy. image It then sends it to my OneNote in the cloud!  (Adds to my Quick Notes section of my Personal Notebook)  On average it takes about a minute, possibly two with slower bandwidth to appear in my Notebook, while I am working in it.   What could be easier?  Putting resources in OneNote means I can then mark it up, write directly on the page, save it as a PDF, and then put it where my students can access it.  Also, OneNote can read the text in photos, so I can extract the text to edit it if I would like! I have been using multiple math sources to cobble together a combined Grade 6&7 curriculum.  With OfficeLens and my Surface Pro 3 and stylus, I can shoot different pages from multiple sources into my One Note.  I can then mark up the page of notes, and post them to my SharePoint at the end of each lesson. One ambitious student checked the notes when he was away from class, and was ready to make up his work when he came back to class.  This saved both of us a lot of time and effort. At conferences or meetings you can capture slides and whiteboard drawings while people are presenting.  Just keep writing notes, and the pictures you take in OfficeLens appear after a bit for you to put in place.  I use it for my daughter who benefits from using technology, and finds working with paper challenging. Other students  in my class that have adaptations for learning disabilities also benefit from using digital copy, and OfficeLens allows me to go from paper to OneNote – where kids can choose how they want to mark up their work.  I just send them the page from my notebook to theirs. Although OfficeLens is available for Windows phone and now iOS, I cannot find it in the app store for my friends with iPhones.  Perhaps this is available only in the US?  Regardless, keep an eye out for this app, as it is a time saver and a game changer!

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