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(Archived) OCR labeling to make it easily searchable later

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I'm a teacher and I want to track student work by taking photos of it, then later be able to search for the their work again. I'm thinking that I could stick a 'label' (with a unique code for each student) on each of page of work they turn in to make searching easier later on. 


So for example.. the students have all just finished taking a test. I tell them to place their label on each page of their work. They turn the documents into me. I take a photo of each page. I upload to Evernote on all one note (to make the process faster) and I'll name the note something like "Test 001".


I'll then download all the images to my computer (using 'export attachments'), batch convert to PDF (so I can edit them using GoodReader), then place all the PDFs back on Evernote. Now when I want to search for work related to a certain student, I just type in their 'code' and all their work should pop up.


I'm just curious if anyone had any thoughts on that workflow? 

Also, in terms of creating a unique code for each student, any recommendations? (ie. avoid using dashes .. A1-001John, etc.)


The bottom line: I want to track their work using images converted to PDFs, and I don't want to have to 'type any text' and still be able to find their work. (BTW, the label is because I'll be dealing with young students who may not always write their name clearly. Also, they might not write it dark enough for Evernote with their pencils.)





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  • Level 5*

Well, I would start by buying a good scanner (like ScanSnap) to scan each document directly into Evernote as a PDF.  One Note per student document.

If you apply a printed label on the first page of each document, you will be able to find the note/document by searching for the text of this label.


As you bring up each note/document to review, you can easily change the Note Title, and ADD tags to identify the student, subject, doc type, etc.


You will save a huge amount of time by starting the process with scanning rather than taking a photo of each page.

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  • Level 5*

If your students have a unique word or number that will identify them,  and one which they all know,  you could ask them to write it on the sheets - in fact you probably should ask them to write it on the sheet immediately they receive it and before doing any other work.  Otherwise you're going to have to tag each picture or scan with the name / number / unique ID of each student as you scan it.  If you are scanning,  that's easier - you can scan to folder,  and (with ScanSnap at least) the process will pause to ask you for a file name.  So add the student's name etc and you're done.  Searches later for "intitle:Gaz" will find all my results,  and sorting them by creation date will give you a timeline of completed tests.

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  • Level 5*

Thanks to @JMichael and @gazumped. Now I'm really tempted to get a scanner!


You're welcome!  That's what this community is for.


Please let us know what you decided to do, and how that is working for you.

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1. Before buying a scanner, be sure that everything will be "scannable" - e.g. I'm thinking of artworks, which can be quite large, or sculptures, or dioramas, or woodwork, or other things that kids do in school that may be photographable but not scannable.


2. You might consider removing Evernote from the middle of the process - you are using it essentially for transferring files from your camera to your computer. The problem with this is that you will be needlessly using up some of your precious upload quota. In a similar situation, I use the Android app "CamScanner" to make images of documents and then save to my Dropbox account (there is no upload quota with Dropbox). Then on my computer, my OCR/PDF software reads the images from the Dropbox folder and saves the output PDF files to my "automatically upload to Evernote" directory.


3. I'm not sure that I would use codes for the students, it would mean you need to maintain a database mapping the codes to the students. Is there some reason you couldn't just use their full names?

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