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Published by Mourad Diouri

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Published by: Mourad Diouri on Feb 27, 2009
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10/17/2011

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In the mid 19th century, photography was invented as a means of fixing and
storing visual information in an external medium using a chemical process.
In the 1930s, devices were introduced that transform visual information into

47

ICT: New Tools for Education

electronic form for immediate transmission
via electromagnetic waves: TV technology. In
the 1950s, simultaneously with computer
technology, methods to record and play back
analogue TV and still images appeared: the
videotape. At the end of the 20th century,
digital photography and digital TV became an
integral part of computer-based ICT.

Cameras

Cameras store or transmit visual images. The pho-
tographic camera stores a still image on photo-
graphic film for further chemical development.
Instead of putting an image onto a film, a digital cameraplaces it in the computer’s
memory, or in the memory of the camera for transmission to a computer for stor-
age or direct printing afterwards. An interesting application of digital cameras is the
projection of a small image (such as a bug, for instance) onto a large screen.
Nowadays, digital cameras can store video images also.

Scanners

Scanners look very like copying machines, but are smaller and usually work more
slowly. Instead of producing a paper copy of an image, a scanner transmits an
image in digital form to a connected computer. Scanners can be used to transform
information from a paper
source – a text, an image from a
book, a drawing, or a photo-
graph – into a digital image.
Additional devices can be used
for scanning 35mm slides.
There are also handheld pen-
size scanners that you can move
over a line of text or a bar code
for input or storage inside the
scanner. Special 3D (three
dimensional) scanners can pro-
duce scanned images viewable
from different angles.

48

A HANDBOOK FOR TEACHERS

ICT IN SCHOOLS

Optical charac-
ter recognition

A special situation
occurs when an
image is a text (or
text combined
with graphics) in
printed or hand-
written form. In
this case, the
image of the text
can be trans-
formed (converted) into a computer text file that can be processed as one does
other texts in the computer (e.g. insert a phrase; change a shorter name to a
longer one, and so on). This process of transformation from picture to text uses
sophisticated software called Optical Character Recognition(OCR).

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