Ditch Class Handouts with Adobe Scan

Simplify everything from notes, to sketches, to research.

Artwork by Monica Acedo.

by Akhil Chugh

posted on 09-05-2018

High school and college students are true digital natives, and mobile phones have always been part of their lives. They simply can’t imagine a world without the connectedness, communication, and social sharing that has spilled into every corner of their lives.

But despite students’ comfort level with technology and innovation, our education systems haven’t kept pace. The result? Students are left in a transitional phase — stuck between old and new — with both heavy, paper-based textbooks and digital learning tools.

One of the most pervasive examples of a digital learning tool that’s rarely out of reach for today’s students is their smartphones. According to a recent Student Pulse Survey, 94 percent of students want to use their phones for academic purposes, and 75 percent believe using personal devices in the classroom has improved their ability to learn and retain information. Two in five use Google search to find answers to in-class questions, and 39 percent access digital textbooks on their devices.

Integrating smartphones and cameras in the classroom

Students are using their built-in smartphone cameras for more than a selfie — now they can make the classroom experience more productive by capturing critical moments and essential takeaways in class. The majority (58 percent) say they snap pictures of lecture slides — it’s a quick, painless, and organic process for a generation that talks, thinks, and shares in pictures.

It’s no surprise, then, that many of today’s students see traditional note-taking as all but obsolete. During classes and lectures, students no longer need to take notes and copy what’s on the whiteboard. Instead, they simply take a picture of the board or record and transcribe a lecture, directly from their device. They can create and share tasks, research materials, and divvy up projects — all with a few quick clicks.

Now, with Adobe Scan, students can improve how they work even more, by simply scanning assignments, handouts, and flyers. Anything from textbook excerpts, whiteboard sketches, handouts, and homework can be scanned, stored, and shared. Given students’ propensity for digital and visual assets, the app is a natural extension of the way they engage and interact today.

Bigger than just a photo

Adobe Scan simplifies how content is captured, yes, but it also solves a major challenge with smartphone pictures: how to pull the text and other information out of them.

Thanks to advanced image technology, Adobe Scan automatically detects page borders, sharpens pictures and words, and actually recognizes text though the optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities. So students can search for relevant content in a scanned document, making it easier to find the right information in seconds. Because that text can be copied and used elsewhere — such as in reports and term papers — there’s no need to stare at a picture and write down or type the text, just copy/paste where it’s needed.

The Adobe Scan app also makes it easy to find critical notes and visuals on demand. The app uses machine-learning to quickly differentiate scanned documents from other photos in the camera roll, which means no more endless scrolling to find the exact note or board capture. Plus, students can search for relevant content within a scanned document, making it easier to find the right information in seconds.

From here, students can directly share documents with others — no more copying and pasting URLs or notes into emails. And once you find what you want, access scanned files from anywhere — they’re all saved on Adobe Document Cloud. That last-minute cram session at lunchtime? It’s on — from your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

Adobe Scan captures content in any condition, regardless of light and background, so students can capture content anywhere — from the sunny quad to a dimly-lit study room. If the images aren’t perfect quality, Adobe Scan lets students fix and crop them, rotate, adjust color, and reorder pages.

Scanning to improve productivity

Here is where students will tap into the host of Adobe Scan benefits:

Studying with a group

Using Adobe Scan, students can scan notes, lecture materials, research information, and other key information, then quickly share assets with group members.

Scanning assignments and handouts

While it feels antiquated, students still get a lot of handouts in their classes — handouts no one wants to keep organized or carry around all semester. By using Adobe Scan, students can scan handouts and keep them as PDFs, directly on their devices.

Adding lecture notes to whiteboard drawings

It’s not uncommon for students to sketch out a whiteboard drawing or a flowchart in their notes, hoping to capture key points just as they’re laid out. But it’s tedious and often misses the mark. With Adobe Scan, it’s easy to capture a visual of the board or scan the flowchart, then digitize and save the file as is. Machine-learning automatically applies a better crop, removes lighting issues, and lightens shadows.

Nurturing creativity

Who said a classroom doodle can’t be a Picasso? Students can scan their sketches, save to their device, then post to Instagram or other social sharing sites. It’s a great way to stay creative and make the most of those less-inspired in-class experiences.

The smartphone generation leans on visuals to experience and accomplish anything and everything, especially in the classroom. By tapping into Adobe Scan to capture and organize information, share content, and study smarter, students can stay one step ahead of their studies — and save significant time and resources in the process. It’s simply a smarter and easier way to get the “A.”

Download the Adobe Scan app so you’re ready to earn your top grade, and read more about the intersection of technology and education in our Back to School collection.

Topics: Education

Products: Scan, Acrobat, Document Cloud