Wednesday, 2 December 2015

OfficeLens - the second app of Christmas

 Hummm, but do I love OfficeLens? Today's app is essentially a capture service that lets you use your camera to send pictures straight to OneNote, OneDrive or your phone gallery.
I've never actually been big on using my phone to take pictures of slides/whiteboards etc. although I've given many presentations where students were continually taking pictures of the screen. I even showed someone how to look up a book on the library catalogue the other day, and his way of making a note of the shelfmark was to photograph it. This is all very alien to me, except of course last week we made a list of things to do on the whiteboard during a meeting and I took a picture of it afterwards! So whether I like it or not this certainly is a useful service.
Do I love it though? Well, I certainly like the fact that you can send the picture instantly to your OneNote. This definitely increases the chances of someone actually remembering they had taken a picture and of looking at it again in the future. I do often wonder about all those students taking photo after photo of my slides - are they really going to look at them again? Will they remember how or why they were useful?
But ultimately the camera on my phone is probably good enough for my needs...and also the amount of information Microsoft want from you when you install this app is massive. Why exactly does OfficeLens need to know my caller ID and phone information? If this is for texting photos, then I think I'd prefer to use the camera on my phone thank you. 
Will I use OfficeLens for teaching....probably not. Getting students to use Microsoft 365 is hard enough but when they've all got a camera and are used to snapping away, why would they want another app? 

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