Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer EdTech Challenge #10: Screenshot this!

Welcome to the Summer EdTech Challenge! Summertime is a wonderful time to be a teacher! It's the perfect time to recharge your batteries, catch up on trends in education, read for pleasure, and learn new things. How about taking the opportunity to learn new tech skills or try out new tools and strategies?

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.


Taking 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.


Windows 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.


Macs 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.


Jing 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?


  1. I like reading your blog, it inspires me to learn about new tech skills. I can apply and incorporate this kind of tech skills with my students when doing project presentations. I finally encountered screenshots in one of my PDE class, and I enjoyed using it. I can see how screenshots will improve the way teacher enhances their presentation. A good example of this is, during the introduction of blogging lesson. You mentioned how how you can do screenshot on Ipads, this is new to me. I tried it and I was amazed how it worked, so simple, but yet you would only know about this things through reading on blogs. Thank you, and I look forward on reading more of your Ed Tech challenge. A quick question, are you limiting your EdTech Challenge blog posts only during summer?

    1. Yes, the EdTech Challenges are posted only during the summer. I feel that's a good time for teachers to take a little extra time to try new things.

  2. is this a comment or a reply ?

  3. I really like your idea of screenshots. It has given me so many ideas to use in my class. I can have students use a screenshot of a picture or item that they find interesting and use it as a writing prompt. They can screenshot their work and post it on a blog to get feedback (peer or teacher). I have recently (withing the last couple of weeks) learned to use the Jung app. I mastered it in about 5 seconds. If I can do that I think my first graders can use it. I think they will love it almost as I love getting ideas from your blog site.

    1. Yes, Jing is a powerful tool and very easy to use. I love your ideas for using screenshots. Perfect ideas for firsties.

  4. I'm going to submit my post again because I didn't see it the first time. I love the idea of screen shots. I do screen shots all the time for myself. I love that I can take a picture and come back to that thought later and pick up right where I left off with it. It is easier to remember. I also love the idea of a students screen shot, using it as a blog post and a way to write. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.