Office Lens

iOS App Store link

Office Lens is a utility made by Microsoft that works on any platform to capture business cards, documents, images and whiteboards. Lens then processes the images to improve clarity before providing various export locations. If you are an Office365 subscriber you also have the benefit of exporting to any of the Office365 apps including directly into a page of a OneNote Notebook.

Below are a couple of scenarios that would work well in an education environment:

Scanning Documents

Document Scanning
– Backup students work
– Store documents from a PD
– Capture pages from books to use in lessons
– Use OCR on a document

Scanning Notes/Work

Scanning Notes
I often find that teachers feel pressure to stop using pen and paper once iPads and Laptops are introduced to the classroom. To me it is perfectly fine to continue working with paper, do your math lesson on paper, brainstorm, think, draw – you can still use paper and then capture the image after the fact.

Scanning the Whiteboard

Scanning whiteboard
The obvious one here is to use this to scan the teachers whiteboard work at the end of the lesson but another love of mine is encouraging students to use the whiteboard to think out their ideas. My mechatronics/engineering class will often have groups of students sharing their ideas on the whiteboards scattered around the room. I also like the idea of the whiteboard desk. Once the thinking is done – take a photo.

Saving to OneNote

OneNote Options
I will point out specifically how Office Lens interacts with OneNote as this fits perfectly into the brainstorm and think on paper or whiteboards and then capturing to digital. Most of my thinking and group work in classes is stored inside OneNote so using Lens certainly makes moving files directly where I need them to go quick and easy.