I love my VuPoint Hand Scanner. It does its job the way that a scanner should. Rather than mess around in software and settings, it just does its job: looks at text and makes it into an image. Could it get simpler than that? Well, not much simpler, but could that simplicity get paired up with convenience? Most of the things I scan get put into my Dropbox file, simply because Dropbox allows me to open the scanned images on my SMARTboard while simultaneously allowing me to access the files on my iPad. Instead of spending lots of time scanning, importing and copying into my Dropbox wouldn’t it be nice if they just showed up there automatically?
Doxie Go, going
I await with giddy anticipation the release of the Doxie Go scanner, a small scanner that not only scans the image automatically, but also automatically syncs to Dropbox, Google Docs, my iPad or iPhone. Students could hand in their assignments by scanning them and instantly copies would appear in on my computer anywhere I may be.
Best of all, Doxie seems to see the usefulness of this product to educators and makes a scaled-down cheap version of this scanner just for schools, the Doxie U.
There is only one downside that I can see with this product. It is a form-fed style scanner and therefore can only scan images of paper, not from thicker objects like books or magazines, something my VuPoint does with ease. Here is to hoping for a new way to easily transfer the piles of paper on my desk into nice, neat, tiny, and organized files on my computer.
There are times when a single-use item is best, and wrapping it up in other products is a bad idea. For example, take the scanner. Time was there used to be a variety of flat-bed scanners out there, and while they were hard to use, they performed an important task: to change paper hard copies into digital ones. Sadly, the humble scanner was a clunky thing and took up a lot of desk space. Now scanners are more often seen attached to all-in-one inkjet printers as an afterthought since most consumers no longer use them for scanning in photos and don’t bother scanning in documents.
As a teacher, I love scanners. I love to get my student’s work on a computer either to make a record of it, pass it on to a colleague or parent, or to pop it up on my SmartBoard. Part of my teaching routine is to go to the staff room and wrangle with the massive copier’s scanner function in order to make a PDF ‘overhead’ I can actually use since most of my teacher materials still come in the form of a bound, blackline master books. Sure, there are overhead options—for example, document cameras such as the ELMO—but they tend to be expensive, take up valuable desk space, and lack the ability to digitally share the document or mark it up.
The VuPoint Magic Wand, scanning.
Enter my newest toy and salvation: the VuPoint ‘Magic Wand’ scanner. It’s a foot-long rod that runs on two AA batteries and allows me to scan documents by simply passing it over a page. No clunky flat-bed, no waiting for it to ‘warm up’ or messing around with software, just pass it over your document and the image is popped onto a microSD card. I see myself spending a day before school starts scanning through all my textbooks and overheads so that they will be ready for my SmartBoard. I see myself passing this around to students so that they can share their work either on my whiteboard or via my online classroom. I finally have an easy, child-proof method of converting written work to digital work.