Saturday, August 19, 2006

Portable Scanning

I often suggest no cost/low cost solutions for students with learning differences. But I just picked up an Ambir Travel Scan Pro 600 (from ebay for a fraction of the cost) and tried it out with Abbyy Fine Reader OCR. You can get a 15 day trial version of the OCR from the website - it's considered to be one of the best OCR software programs out there. The upgrade version (a fully functioning version) is available online for $179.
In any case, the results with the Scan Pro were impressive. The OCR was accurate with a sheet of text and with text with two embedded graphics. The user interface was intuitive (important point!) and easy to use. The scanned document was easily exported to Word and retained it's original formatting.
This type of portable scanner is useful for "on the fly" assignments or materials in a typical high school classroom when the materials need to be converted to digital format. It doesn't work for scanning books since it is a sheet-fed scanner. It is remarkably portable, weighs less than a pound and is USB powered. Students can increase their independence when they have access to tools such as this. There may be times when I'll have to recommend this product for particular students.
Have you had any experience with this product?

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