We’ve been looking at some learning Apps over this last few weeks and have posts on the following Apps:

In this weeks’ post, we will look at Microsoft’s Office Lens as a learning App and how students can benefit from using this in their learning.

What is Office Lens?

In a nutshell, Office Lens is an App (available since 2015) which allows users to capture documents or writing with their devices’ camera. Once captured, ‘image text’ can be made editable by the App.

Why use Office Lens?

As an App, Office Lens, has been described as a ‘scanner in your pocket’. The beauty of this App is the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature. As a technology, OCR has been around for decades but Office Lens allows for text from a range of sources to be recognised and make editable text.

Sources can be documents, business cards, writing on a whiteboard or flipchart and/or text within a photograph. Office lens makes this text content editable.

That’s impressive!

Do you want to add in your own notes? You can.

Would you like to share your captures and notes with others? Once captured, your notes can be shared via email and other digital services.

There’s no necessity to carry around notepads and take handwritten notes. And of course, as Office Lens is a Microsoft product, it integrates with their other Apps: OneNote, etc.

Studies show students who make notes whilst learning are more likely to be engaged in learning and achieve higher grades.

Not only does Office Lens allow for text editing, there are image enhancement features available as well.

Walk through Office Lens

To save time, we didn’t see the point in re-creating the wheel when there was plenty of YouTube content available already, in the YouTube video below, we are taken through the use of Office Lens:

If you can capture it, you can make notes on it. From a student perspective, this will help with content capture and study notes. Once text is captured, notes can be sent to the Immersive Reader, this will benefit those of us who prefer to listen over reading, however, it’s not only limited to education.

Let’s look at a few other perspectives:

Accounts: receipts can have notes made on them to help with cost-centers and this can be done as receipts are received. Don’t lose any more receipts.

Networking: don’t collect business cards. Scan them! You’ll be able to take the text and copy email or phone numbers to your email/phone directory. This will minimise input errors.

Research: if collating visual ideas, those image captures can be shared with other integrated Microsoft Apps. Then written content can be captured and text made editable for research purposes.

Where can I download Office Lens?

Microsoft Office Lens can be downloaded for Android and iOS devices, free. Just go to your normal App Store and search for Office Lens.


This is a very handy App for text capture and making notes. It’s integrated with other Microsoft Apps. As an educational aid, this is worthy of being used for notes capture / creation and saving to other file formats.

Why not give it a try?

Next week

Our blog post next Monday will be look at Mind Mapping. Remember, the DigiKnow blog posts are now released at noon on a Monday.

Please do join us then to learn more and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @MDBSelearn.


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