Somehow I deleted the last posting on this subject so I get to recreate it.
One of the pieces of hardware that gets a lot of use in my class (and in the class of other teachers who are beginning to use Evernote as Portfolios) is the Lexmark Scanner. I have written about its use previously and wanted to add some ideas for ways this technology could be improved.
As I presently use it, in my classroom, it works just fine. I have 23 students, each who have an individual Evernote widget. When they want to scan something they place the paper on the scanner or document feeder, hit their widget and away it goes. This is great and revolutionary. But as I am in the business of making things work better I have some suggestions that could greatly improve the long term viability of this Evernote-Lexmark partnership.
#1. If you use the scanner you can never ADD things to an existing note. This is fine if you haven’t created a portfolio note yet, but if you have already started a portfolio note, added a bunch of work and want to scan something in, it won’t work. In the long run that means my students have to photograph final work, which isn’t as nice as putting it through a scanner.
#2. As I begin to set up Evernote for Portfolio accounts school-wide, and start adding many more scanners around the building, there needs to be someone that has to manage all the accounts on all the Lexmark Scanners. The scanners can only hold up to 75 individual Evernote widgets, which means that students are tied to ONE scanner. We don’t have the ability to have all students in the school be on all the scanners. PLUS that would be a nightmare to set up. No one would want to constantly be updating all the scanner with all the individual kids. Adding each individual Evernote email account to the online Smartsolutions website is time consuming, especially when you have a large group of people to enter. This is the managerial headache.
#3. When students move to new classes or teachers throughout the year or at the end of the year, all the departing students have to be removed from the scanner and put on a new one. Again, a managerial headache, especially when deal with 365 people.
Each scanner should have an Evernote widget that brings the user to a log in screen (just like on mobile devices) In that way any student can use any scanner around the building. In addition, once you log in you would be prompted to add a document to a particular note or given the opportunity to create a new one. Of course this is a problem for the programers to figure out, but the result, for the end user, especially at schools or larger organizations that use Evernote and Lexmark Scanners would be significant.
Below is my visual brainstorm for those who want “Just the Facts”.