Rob Bushway ran a contest to find a truly compelling use for a new pen-size scanner, the new Docupen RC800 from PlanOn. The winner was a teacher of developmentally challenged students, who sees new ways of allowing kids to work digitally and great efficiency is scanning the many documents he needs to keep track of.
Kids hate reading textbooks, but make a webpage out of it, and they're there. They'll lose their homework and misplace study guides, but know where all their documents are saved on the computer. We have a handful of computers in the classroom for them to use, but the tools to get their normal written work onto the computer so easily?!?! It would blow their mind. I think that if a lot of our kids knew they could go totally digital, they would. Their generation simply prefers it. I've even had in depth discussions with them about making their next computer a Tablet PC (although we can't afford those for the school) just so they could do MORE digitally. They always love that idea.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'd use it too. Being able to scan their papers to show good examples to the class, keeping electronic copies of papers after I hand them back so that I can refer back to them, and scanning student documentation! You'd be amazed how much paperwork we copy, file, and write for every single student. Some of these students have their own file cabinet drawer (2 feet deep) of documentation on their disabilities, therapy notes, and case histories. Every teacher keeps a copy of the student's Individual Education Plan and other paperwork, but imagine if we could go digital! Not to mention scanning examples from old texts for future use in presentations and the like."
Writing about the contest at the Office Evolution blog, Marc Orchant writes: "The world of work, and of education, is changing. Consider the many implications for Aaron and his students caused by winning the DocuPen in Rob's contest. Such a small thing, right? A couple of hundred dollars (retail) worth of technology will utterly change the way this educator can serve and inspire his students. This is the changing world of work and learning we live in. What can you do to change your corner of it?"