Skip to main content

Using Office Lens

A brief aside.

I had dropped by a workshop first thing this morning and was sitting at the front and wanted to grab a shot of the screen; at first I used my camera -- I wasn't thinking.  As soon as I looked at the image, I realized I should be using Office Lens.  Look, it was early morning and I wasn't quite awake.
Just using the camera app
Office Lens is an app for both Android (link) and iPhone/iPad (link) - and its main purpose is to capture physical content, clean it up and add it into your OneNote.

When you start the app, you get a camera ... but with a bouncing, resizing white rectangle superimposed on your image.  It's a smart rectangle, so it's looking for the piece of paper, the whiteboard, the business card, the content that is sitting in front of you.  Once you have it framed by the white rectangle, you tap the photo button and it grabs the image, cleans it up (brightens, sharpens), crops and... if the image was taken from an angle... Office Lens will transform the image so it appears flat and straight on.
Using Office Lens from the same location
Since I was sitting at the front of the room, off stage left, I had to turn around and lean over to take the picture.  You can see the difference from just the camera versus that of Office Lens.  And with no additional work.  Both pictures were taken from the same seat from the same distance, all by pressing one button.

The next step is to decide where it goes.  My default is to push it into my OneNote and to store into my Photo Gallery, but it will also create a Word document, PDF or PowerPoint or it will store the image in your OneDrive.

Notice that it does have a place for the TITLE.  OfficeLens defaults to the date/time but you can change it to whatever your want.

Office Lens is one of the most popular apps at our School since it does all of the editing automagically AND it delivers it to the student (or teacher) OneNote without any extra work  Since all of our classrooms are covered in whiteboards, we have a lot of student-developed content throughout the class that they want a record of.  And teachers want to grab exemplars to record student understanding without having to fiddle with things.  The feedback from Math and Art teachers, in particular, has been particularly strong, as both subject rely on images to convey a story.  Our most tech-reluctant educator has stated that this is his favourite app, since he can capture all the work he still has his students do on (gasp) paper.

And for me, I use Office Lens for everything ... agendas, maps, transit tickets, anything I need to remember because Office Lens pushes everything back into OneNote and then syncs across all my devices.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Escape Room / BreakOut in OneNote

[[Part 2 of this article is here: Link]]

So when I was visiting Anna in Edinburgh during March Break, she showed me how she used Password-Protected OneNote sections within the OneNote ClassNotebook to help students check their work -- she set the password to the correct answer, so they knew they had it right when the Section opened up.

I figured I could use this for Math Review, so I set aside a couple of hours (turned out to be 3 hours but a fair chunk of that was solution-time) the other night to put an Exam Review together for my Grade 10 Mathematics course.  I pulled together as many multiple choice questions and short answer questions on the topics as I could Google and tried to balance each Section with a mix of topics and then threw in a couple of pop-culture questions, too.  The students worked on the problems in each section and used the answers as passwords to unlock the next section until they got to the Prize section.
Result?  Near total continual engagement for the 60 min…

Desmos, OneNote & Replay

So using Desmos activities are a great way to encourage exploration and discussion in math class -- if you haven't tried them, I encourage it.  They're collected at https://teacher.desmos.com/ 

But ... Desmos doesn't give you quite enough.  It doesn't have a way of capturing the work that the student does within their space, and it doesn't allow for annotation of class contributions as we come together to discuss.  Well, not surprisingly, OneNote comes to the rescue. 
Using the Windows shortcut Windows-Shift-S it is really quick to snag the Desmos screen and pop it into a waiting OneNote page.  From there, we can grab our pen and (using wireless projection) talk about what all the different responses mean and where to go from there.
(An aside : one of the nice features of Desmos activities are the way you can hit PAUSE and it will pause all the screens of the students working.  I always give them a heads up "10 seconds to pause..." and it's refreshing…

Teacher Professional Development and Microsoft OneNote

During the first three weeks of July, I have the amazing opportunity to work at the Park City Mathematics Institute.  It is, without exaggeration, the best professional development opportunity for teachers of mathematics.  Participants spend three weeks thinking deeply about mathematics and mathematics education.

There are three main aspects of PCMI:

learning mathematicsreflection on practice (RoP)becoming a resource to others.I'm part of the team for RoP and in charge of the third aspect, in which participants consider a gap in professional development back at their home districts and work in small groups to help fill that hole by developing a rich PD seminar on that topic.

It is not easy to develop professional development.  Teachers who haven't written PD have to patiently learn how to write (essentially) lesson plans for someone else.

This year, I used Microsoft OneNote to facilitate the process.  We have a central OneNote Notebook through which I lay out the daily schedule…