Technology plays an essential part in today’s world. In education, it has become a handy tool in the instructional process. Technology serves as a learning aid and we cannot ignore its contribution to education and learning. Technology has to be used to the extreme in order to make the education system easier. This article focuses on one aspect of technology to assess the importance of technology to the learning process (Bitter and Legacy, 2007).
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The aspect under review is the scanning software. The scanning software is an electronic device that replicates digital representation of an image such as a photo or document for data input into a computer. A scanner optically generates digital images from printed texts and images, which are in paper format.
In a school set-up, many people can use the scanner. For instance, the scanning software is essential to office attendants, teachers, and students. As a learning aid, a scanner benefits both the teacher and students. A scanner helps the teacher and students to replicate learning materials such as documents and images, capture, and store images. It benefits the teacher and students because it is easy to use, fast, and convenient especially to students above the elementary level.
In a classroom, the scanning software is very powerful and invaluable if used together with a computer and a white/chalk board. In class, a scanner would be very handy in reproducing all sorts of documents and images. To use a scanner as a learning aid, a teacher needs a document, text, or photograph, a scanner, and several networked computers that are functioning well. The teacher plugs in the scanner to the power source and places a paper format document on the glass part of the scanner.
The teacher then selects a desired location and size of output on the computer and switches on the scanner (Paul, 2005). The digital representation of the image then appears on the screen of the computer. The teacher then distributes the image to all the networked computers. The students benefit by getting the documents and in the process learn how to use the scanner. The teacher benefits by getting more resources and teaching the learners a new skill.
A scanner is an important learning aid to learners as it helps them to develop and generate new ideas. For example, a teacher can use a scanner to digitalize students’ work. Once the teacher digitalizes such works, the learners can use it in a number of creative ways. They can edit it, improve it, and create self-written stories. In addition, digitized works help to show the progress of students over a given period and can help to create students portfolios (Rice, 2004).
Scanning software also helps to save time. For example, an individual saves time if he/she scans worksheets and copy forms instead of going to a photocopy shop. Scanning also saves time for printing. Further, a scanner helps an individual to graphically manipulate information and reproduce documents that are more appealing and creative.
Scanners are ideal tools for preserving history. They allow digital generation of old documents such as photographs, genealogical documents, and certificates. This is essential as it helps students to store valuable things in good conditions. This allows for easy and free access to information that would otherwise be difficult to access because of fragile or irreplaceable nature of document(s).
Another important use of a scanner as a learning aid is its ability to allow for manipulation of the images it produces. The scanner digitalizes information and allows for manipulation of information within word processors. For example, it allows information to be accessible to the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. This software manipulates information and transforms it into Braille and other digital texts, which helps visually impaired individuals to access information that was initially in paper format.
The scanning software can also act as a close-up camera. This is important in a classroom especially when there are no cameras. Although it cannot capture large pictures or capture images in 3D, it helps in capturing front parts of objects.
Some paper scanners can recognise texts they had scanned before. This is important when a person loses the work that he/she had scanned earlier. This quality helps one to retrieve lost documents and save time. Scanners help learners to be creative, fun, curios, and initiative ( Document Management System, 2011).
Scanning software is helpful in the learning process. It is an important learning aid, which is very resourceful. In fact, only users’ imagination can limit its usefulness in learning. A scanner is convenient as it is light in weight, flexible, and has alternative uses. For instance, it can fill in for a printer, photocopier, and even a camera. Teachers and students can use the scanner to digitalize information, convert word texts into Braille, and take close-up pictures. The scanned image representation in the computer screen is easy to manipulate. This makes learning to be more interesting, intriguing, and curious. Scanners are useful if used in conjunction with other forms of technology (Rice, 2004).
Document Management System. (2011). Significance and functions of scanning software. Web.
Paul, A., (2005). Using a Scanner in a Classroom. Web.
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Bitter, G., and Legacy, J. (2007). Using Technology in the Classroom (7th Ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.
Rice, J. (2004). Five Creative Ways to Use a Scanner in the Classroom. Summer TechEdge, 23(4), 14-29.