top of page



Scanners are devices used to create digital images of physical documents including pictures, worksheets, textbooks, or any other printed materials. Scanners come in many forms and can be helpful for students when trying to manage all of their documents While managing physical papers can prove challenging some students, scanning these documents and storing them on the computer may make this task more efficient. With all of these documents on their computer, they don’t have to organize handouts into binders nor do they have to remember what documents are in what binder. Scanners can also be useful for people with poor graphomotor skills when trying to highlight important facts in a textbook chapter or filling in a worksheet. For example, a student who struggles with writing may find it easier to scan their worksheet onto their laptop and complete their work using their keyboard.  Scanners come in a variety of different styles, each with its own pros and cons, some of the most popular styles are discussed below. 

Flatbed Scanners: A flatbed scanner is a scanner in which the user places a document face down on a glass screen. After closing the scanner, a light is projected up at the document scanning from one end to the other. These scanners are useful for textbooks or fragile documents that are unable to be put through a feed scanner. These scanners require users to scan one page at a time, one side per scan.

Feed Scanner: Feed scanners are scanners in which documents (single or multi-page) are fed through the scanner in a similar fashion to a printer. Documents are stacked and placed into the top of the feeder; each page is then fed through one at a time and scanned on one or both sides. The advantage of these types of scanners is that multiple pages can be loaded at once, rather than having to load and scan one page at a time as you do with a flatbed scanner.

Wand Scanners: Wand scanners are small portable scanners that a user holds above the document and moves from one end to the other. The scan images are stored on the device internal memory until connected to a computer at which time the images can be uploaded and edited. Wand scanners require a steady hand; however can be useful as they are highly portable. 

Pen Scanners: Pen Scanner are digital pens that a student a can use to digitize documents. A user drag the pen over text and this text is digitized and stored on the pen. The user can then upload this text to a computer word processor. While this tech is highly portable, it is very cumbersome and has become mostly obsolete.

Smartphone Scanners: Smartphone scanners are apps that process images taken by the device camera. These apps can transform the images taken by your phone digital documents, removing distortions or creases in the document and creating a digital document.

Book Scanner: These products scan an entire two page spread of an open book with one scan. They can be very useful when scanning chapters from a textbook or a novel. These scanners account for the shape of the book and the valley that exists between the two open pages. Not only do they accurately scan these documents but they also correct for any distortion in the image, producing flat rectangular uncorrupted images.


Printer Scanner 2:1: 2-in-1 printer and scanners tend to put focus their functionality on the printer, the scanners included in these models are often low quality, slow, and have difficulty interfaces. These products are not recommended for heavy users.

Visit our OCR page for more information on Scanning and OCR apps.

Special Consideration: Workflow

OS Compatibility
Internet Reliance
Optimized Use

Exact prices change frequently, which is why only approximate ranges are listed. 

$ - Under $5

$$ - Between $6 and $50

$$$ - Between $51 and $250

$$$$ - Over $250

bottom of page