The Future of Education is Bright with Smart Digital Highlighters

Digital highlighters offer new ways for students to read. After scanning text, students can transfer, edit, and listen to the text via connected computer applications. The tools also offer text translations in multiple languages and provide assistive technology for those with learning difficulties by enhancing comprehension and reading ability.


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Image credit: CPEN

Digital highlighters that use IoT allow users to scan and transfer text from paper to an electronic device. When reading long textbooks or reports, the reader can scan direct quotes or information onto their computer or mobile device rather than typing it. This time-saving technology is especially important for busy students and professionals, and it’s more accurate than typing. A handful of companies have developed these digital highlighters, including Scanmarker and CPEN.

Scanmarker designed two versions of its digital highlighter. The original Scanmarker transmits information via a USB connection, but the newer Scanmarker Air uses Bluetooth to transmit information wirelessly. Both Scanmarkers are rechargeable via USB. 

To transfer text to electronic devices, the user simply slides the Scanmarker across text. The scanned text is captured as a raw image and then is processed to a high quality image, so it can be converted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The converted text or data is then uploaded to computer applications or browser sites compatible with the Scanmarker software. The translated text can then be shared with Word, Google Drive, and various other computer applications where it can be edited. 

The Scanmarkers can scan text from printed pages, Kindles, and other e-readers but not from standard computer or phone screens. In addition to scanning text, the devices can scan UPC and EAN barcodes.

The Scanmarker software is compatible with Windows PC and other laptop devices, and the Scanmarker Air is also compatible with mobile phones. To connect, the Scanmarker software must be downloaded to the device prior to use. 

The Scanmarker in Schools

In addition to saving time, Scanmarkers have a read-aloud feature, which is useful for language learners. The Scanmarker can translate text to and from 40 different languages, and the software enables the device to read and type the translated text. This enables learners to connect words with sounds without the assistance of a teacher. This also can help with memorization and pronunciation. 

Black digital pen with blue and green lights turned on

Image credit: Scanmarker

Users can change the voice and speed of the read-aloud feature through the Scanmarker software. This feature is helpful for students with learning disabilities. In busy school settings, students can plug in headphones and listen to text as it is scanned, which improves reading comprehension and absorption of information. The Scanmarker allows students to work independently rather than with a human aide, an important component of learning independence. 

Highlighting the Difference

CPEN also has created multiple digital highlighters, each with slightly different functionality. All of CPEN’s digital highlighters read printed text, have text-to-speech abilities, and can connect to computers. The LingoPen, ExamRader, and ReaderPen store data within the device, although the data can be transferred to a computer via USB after use. The ReaderPen Secure does not store data, it just reads text out loud as it is scanned. The Connect digital highlighter is wireless and can transfer text to computers and mobile devices. 

The goal of digital highlighters is to help users, oftentime students, connect words with sounds and aid in independent learning. Digital highlighters allow users to listen, edit, translate, and share information easily and quickly. 

  • Learn more about the Scanmarker pen reader solutions.
  • See the technology in the CPEN scanner.
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