How much value does a scanner add to my interactive whiteboard?

Sunday, January 24th, 2010 | IWBs

A scanner is an inexpensive peripheral, but one that will add considerable functionality to your interactive whiteboard.  If you can’t afford a document camera, a normal digital scanner is a good second choice.

There may be a scanner in your computer room, but if you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, it will be better to have your own scanner.  It will allow you to react spontaneously to teaching opportunities – those moments that present themselves unexpectedly – and contributes towards making your classroom more dynamic and interactive.

Learners are thrilled to have their work displayed and feel proud if the spotlight is put on something they’ve done.  A scanner allows you do this at any time. 

Here are a few ways in which you can use this device during the course of a day:

You can build the self-esteem of a learner by displaying a piece of work that was particularly well done.  It’s easy: you simply scan in the page, and display it to the class on your interactive whiteboard.  You can even print out a copy – most scanners these days also have printing and copying functions – and send it home to the parents.

When you scan a piece of artwork and display it to the class it opens the way for class discussion.  Any piece of work – not only artwork – can be scanned and displayed and used in impromptu teaching sessions.

It is easy to scan handwriting samples of learners – before and after images – that can be used to show progress.  This is particularly suitable for foundation phase learners.

Pictures, brochures or any other image or text that is not in electronic format can be scanned and saved for classroom use.  Newspaper clippings are excellent tools to make your teaching current.

You are even able to take pictures of flat objects like leaves or coins.  Your scanner can double up as a digital camera – the image may not be of the same quality but it will do for recording purposes.

Once images are scanned, they can be saved for later use.  When they are displayed on your interactive whiteboard, you are able to highlight, manipulate and annotate in the normal way.

Even if you can’t afford any other peripheral for your interactive whiteboard, it may be possible for you to acquire a scanner.  Its big advantage is that it is cheap.  Used innovatively it will enhance the manner in which your interactive whiteboard serves you and your learners.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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1 Comment to How much value does a scanner add to my interactive whiteboard?

Mark C
Sunday, 24 January, 2010

I love my printer/scanner at home. It is actually one of the most cost-effective pieces of equipment I bought.
I pdf all important (signed) documents which I send to the office, lawyers, etc. I pdf documents either through the scanner software or through my word processing package. What makes it so convenient is that the same document can be printed everywhere without formats changing as a result of the different printer models. Also, the pdf usually is smaller in size than a normal document.
My children’ s drawings, cartoons or photos are scanned in and converted to jpegs if necessary. These are just two uses we use frequently at home. Depending on the educator’ s need, I would say this could be a plus.

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