Of what value is a scanner in my classroom?

Friday, December 17th, 2010 | technology

A scanner is one of those affordable pieces of technology that has the potential of being a great teaching tool.  Many inexpensive printers have scanning capabilities, which may be adequate for use in your classroom.

Scanners are quick and easy to operate and they allow you to grab hold of those unexpected teaching opportunities that present themselves throughout the day.  Using a scanner makes it possible for you to use technology in such a way that you don’t even think about the technology – the emphasis is on the teaching.

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

Children love it when you show their work to the class and feel proud if the spotlight is put on something they’ve done.  It’s easy: you simply scan the page you want to display and project an enlarged image by means of your data projector.  Just imagine how this can help you to build the self-esteem of learners who may need it.

Since many scanners have printing and copying functions, you can make a copy of the scanned work and send it home to the parents.

When you scan a learner’s work and display it to the class it opens the way for class discussion.  You know the value of these impromptu teaching opportunities.

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.

Some pictures may not be available in electronic format.  A scanner allows you to transform the picture into an electronic image, which you can use immediately and also store for later use. Newspaper clippings are excellent tools to make your teaching current.

With a scanner you can 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.

Even if a scanner is available in the computer room of your school, you will find it useful to have one in your classroom – it is cheap enough to make this possible.  A scanner is an excellent tool to transform your classroom into an interactive one.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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2 Comments to Of what value is a scanner in my classroom?

Leighton
Friday, 17 December, 2010

A scanner is a great resource to have for getting students to scan their work in an electronic type porfolio. There are also valuable skills such as resizing, cropping, formatting and then hyper-linking scanned work in an e-portfolio which children could show their parents. As a teacher, for the instant type exemplars, when you do not have enough time, I find the new document cameras on the market, a far more worthwhile resource to have in the classroom. The reality is that scanners will for some time yet be centrally located in school libraries or computer labs for students and teachers to use. Document cameras connected via usb to a desktop in class, will offer teachers instant feedback on a resource that needs to be magnified, annotated on or shown on a screen.

Mark C
Saturday, 18 December, 2010

Strange how under-utilized this piece of equipment is in a Khanya lab. Yet it is so easy to use. I think that if you buy a scanner-copier-printer it would be of more use. At home we cannot do without it. It almost makes our fax machine obsolete as we copy, pdf and mail all kinds of documents.
In Life Sciences one can copy some real specimens (with care), import them into documents or mail them to others for comment. If one takes smartphones these days one can take a photo and upload it directly onto Social Networking sites for comment. I have no doubt that scanner software already has this built-in too. If not, this is a missed opportunity.

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