3 Time-saving tips from teachers using Office Lens

Paul Watkins stands before his classroom and students.

Any educator with a mobile phone can put Office Lens, a convenient app that acts as a point-and-shoot document scanner, to good use in their classroom. Office Lens can cut paper clutter by digitizing your classroom, help organize your note taking and make it simple to share documents with students and other educators.

In that same spirit of collaboration, we’ve asked three teachers to illustrate the quality-of-life improvements that come with having Office Lens in hand:

Save resources and go paperlessEducator Paul Watkins uses Office Lens to capture multiple documents on a table.

Paul Watkins (left), a secondary school IT specialist teacher in the UK, used to deal with piles of paper documents, spending lots of time in front of copying machines and duplicating and distributing each page by hand. Now, he uses Office Lens whenever and wherever he finds something he needs to share. With a simple scan from Office Lens and a tap of the in-app OneNote button, all of his students receive the content instantly. The combination of OneNote and Office Lens is easy and quick, helping to simplify the lives and tasks of educators like Paul.


Communicate with students and teachers

Office Lens also helps encourage communication between students and teachers, says Liz Lee, a secondary school math teacher from East Yorkshire, England. Many students and teachers often scribble their thoughts on pieces of paper, a form that makes it difficult to share their work once students have gone home, or the teachers have left school. In Liz’s class, however, the students email her for help, stating which question they are stuck on and why. In return, she uses Office Lens to scan her handwritten notes, explanations and diagrams, and to send them straight to OneNote to answer their questions. Office Lens gives quick communication turn-around without having to be at school.

In addition, Liz also uses Office Lens to capture student work in real-time, making for easy digitization and collaboration on paper-based classroom projects.

An animation showing how a captured document is added to OneNote through Office Lens.

Educator Sarah Clark uses the Immerisive Reader in Office Lens.Take notes and revisit them through Immersive Reader

Sarah Clark is a secondary school science teacher in Scotland. According to Sarah, the new built-in immersive reader feature in Office Lens has helped her students with both note taking and reading in the classroom. With few digital textbooks available at her school, students often must carry thick physical copies as they read the sections again and again to understand the content and take notes alongside it. Students use the app’s built-in Immersive Reader to have textbooks audibly read to them while they take notes, allowing them to grasp information more quickly and efficiently. This Office Lens feature also allows student to take screenshots of articles they find online and import them to the Immersive Reader for playback.

Now it’s your turn to leverage the power of Office Lens in your classroom. Get Office Lens for free on your Windows, Android and iOS device, and keep in mind we are always looking for educator feedback to improve it. In fact, based on your feedback, we have just updated the Windows version with a curved-edge cropping feature, ideal for capturing the content from books, documents and whiteboards that aren’t perfectly square or rectangular. Check out how it works here.

As always, let us know what you think and how you leverage our technology by visiting our UserVoice page or through Microsoft Education on Twitter.

To connect with these and other Microsoft Innovative Educators, visit Microsoft Educator Community and search via name, country, subject, grade-level, or for trainer and Skype in the Classroom availability. Start by connecting with Paul Watkins, Liz Lee, and Sarah Clark from this blog.

Browse affordable devices starting at $219