Each Monday this summer I'll post a simple tech challenge, something you can do between dips in the pool and binge watching your favorite TV show. These challenges are practical, easy to implement ideas to help you develop your tech skills and start next year off on the right technology foot!
Remember that saying "A picture is worth a thousand words"? When explaining concepts to students or modeling technology use, that little picture can help students tremendously. Screenshots can really transform the way teachers use technology. A screenshot is simply a picture of what you see on the screen of your device, whether its a computer, laptop, or iPad.
Teachers can also show students how to take screenshots, using this simple skill to hold students accountable. After students have solved a math problem, created a story map, or any digital task, they can take a screenshot and share it via email or uploaded to a class site such as Edmodo or Google Classroom.
iPadTaking a screenshot on an iPad is as easy as pressing the home button and power button at the same time. The image is saved directly to the Camera Roll where it can be cropped and other basic edits performed.
WindowsWindows 10 users can press the PrtScn button on the keyboard. This takes a picture of the entire screen and saves it to the clipboard, which can then be pasted into any application. If you want a picture of just the active window then press Alt + PrtScn. If you'd rather save the screenshot as a file, then press the Windows logo key + PrtScn. The picture file will be saved to a folder called Screenshots inside your Pictures folders.
If you want more flexibility in the area to capture, use the Snipping tool. Snipping tool can take screenshots of an open window, rectangular area, a free-form area, or the entire screen. You can annotate your snips with different colored pens or a highlighter, save it as an image.
MacMacs have built-in screenshot capabilities that are simple to use - you just need to remember a few keystrokes. To take a screen shot of the entire screen, press Cmd + Shift + 3. The screen shot will be saved to the desktop and named Screenshot with the date and time added to the file name. To take a screen shot of just a specific area press Cmd + Shift+ 4. The cursor will turn into a cross-hair that you can drag across the screen to select a window or other area. Letting go of the mouse will take the picture and save it to your desktop.
If you want to save the screen shot to your clipboard to paste into an application, add the Control key to either keystroke above. Control + Cmd + Shift + 3 for the entire screen or Control + Cmd + Shift + 4 for the crosshairs.
JingJing by TechSmith is a free screenshot and screencast software that is compatible with Macs and Windows. Simply select any window or region that you want to capture, mark up your screenshot with a text box, arrow, highlight or picture caption, and decide how you want to share it.
Jing also does screencasting, which is a method of recording the action that happens on your screen. Select any window or region that you would like to record, and Jing will capture everything that happens in that area. From simple mouse movements to a fully narrated tutorial, Jing records everything you see and do. Jing videos are limited to five minutes for instant, focused communication.
This week's EdTech Challenge is to practice using some of these screenshot skills. Can you take screenshots of just a window or specific part of the screen? Can you save it as a file and import into a document? How about saving it to the clipboard and pasting it right into that document? After you've practiced a little bit, come back and tell me how you did. What ways do you think you and your students can use screenshots in your classroom?