Worksheets, handouts, syllabus, quizzes. These and many other paper products are, or were common elements of any classroom from kindergarten through high school and even in college classes. Additionally, students had to write their fair share of papers, on paper and have their knowledge tested with exams, many of which involved the one-time use of paper from worksheets and Scantrons.
The abundant amount of paper products not only led to waste, but it made it harder for the teacher to stay organized and keep track of the tests, homework, and papers he or she must take to grade at home.
The classroom has evolved to the point where the excessive use of paper is becoming less of a problem. Thanks to advancements in technology, teachers can print, scan or fax classroom documents and materials from their smartphones.
Older students are able to share and store their paper assignments online “on the cloud” with other students and the instructor, cutting down on the need to print hard copies of assignments that will ultimately get tossed in the recycle bin.
Even instructors can remotely share project instructions, test study guides, and course syllabus online without the need to copy and print documents.
The History of Classroom Technology
From the humble beginnings of inscribed paddles in the Colonial Era to the introduction of pencils, the chalkboard, the calculator, the projector and the whiteboard, technology has greatly transformed the learning experience. The modern classroom is vastly different from what it was even twenty years ago.
The increase of children going to school, the quickness of available information and children’s’ increasing demand to be taught in an interactive, interesting way has made technology in the classroom even more vital.
The famous overhead projector debuted in 1930. Videotapes appeared in the early 1950s. In 1959, the handy photocopier that enabled document scanning came about. Handheld calculators appeared in 1972.
Over this 40-year time span, teachers were able to provide interesting instruction while also being armed with the ability to efficiently produce a mass amount of documents.
Age of Computers
The first computer for casual, personal use came about in the early 1980s with IBM’s 24-pound portable computer. In the next few years, Toshiba and Apple would follow suit. At least one computer can be found in 97% of classrooms across the US. There is at least one computer per every five students.
Today’s Classroom Technology
Two of the biggest technological changes in today’s classrooms involve document scanning and the increased use of book scanners to change hard and heavy physical books into ebooks.
Secure Document Scanning
With most of the technology shifting traditional school documents to online, secure document management is crucial. Less and less “hard copy” paper documents are being used in education, especially at the upper levels and more documents are being used instead. The increasing traffic of online documents means teachers need secure document scanning through secure document management systems.
Scanners have been used for many years to capture pictures and images from books and magazines. These images could then be printed or shared electronically. With students being more digitally proficient than ever as well as having the expectation to quickly get the information they need and want, scanners have become even more important.
Over the years, scanners have become more sophisticated and powerful. Today’s scanners can now scan documents, reducing the need for paper. Industries that utilize a lot of paper forms and worksheets can reduce their paper use, more efficiently and safely store documents, be more organized and save more room in filing cabinets.
The Use of Ebooks
In the near future, physical textbooks can be things of the past. Many students, even elementary school students have smartphones. If a student doesn’t have a smartphone, he or she likely has ready availability to a desktop or laptop computer. Smartphones and portable computers give students access to all the information they need whenever, wherever. Today’s students are able to multitask and live a fast-paced life thanks to fast technology.
Audiobooks and ebooks have become preferred over traditional, physical books because they can be read on the go, cost less and take up no additional space in a bag or backpack.
Schools are seeing the benefits of transforming physical textbooks into digital, ebooks. Using book scanners to reproduce online, digital versions of textbooks make the ebooks easily accessible, immune from getting lost or damaged and they reduce the weight students must carry from class to class. Many libraries use book scanners as digital versions of books take less physical space. Ebooks cut down on lost and damaged books and are available for readers to enjoy wherever they are.
In a nutshell, using a book scanner to convert a physical book into an ebook can yield the following benefits:
- Save paper and the environment
- Ebooks can be read anywhere at any time, including in the dark
- Ebooks take up less physical space
- Ebooks are lighter and easier to carry
- Ebooks can be bought and enjoyed instantly
- Ebooks can be checked out at libraries in the comfort of one’s home
- There are no library late fees with ebooks
- Ebooks won’t get damaged or easily lost
- Ebooks have built-in dictionaries and resources
- Ebook fonts can be altered for easier reading
The classroom has changed considerably over hundreds of years. The fast-paced lifestyle, student’s desires to learn in interesting ways and the improved learning experience has made technology a necessary element for any classroom. Many digital evolutions have taken place in education from overhead projectors to whiteboards to computers. Today’s classrooms feature secure document scanners and book scanners.
Regardless of whether you teach kindergartners or college students, online document management systems are essential in helping you stay better organized, efficient and productive. To learn more about secure document scanning or book scanning, please contact us at Micro Records. We have a variety of document scanners, document management systems and book scanners available.