Ed Tech

20 ways Snagit can improve life in the classroom

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Capturing images and videos lets students and teachers create some great classroom experiences. Snagit’s Chrome extension is a great free tool for that. Here are 20 ideas to use it. (Flickr / Lucella Ribeiro)

If you’re like me, you have just a couple of go-to digital tools. For me, those tools make my life easier and I can’t imagine my life without them.

For me, Snagit is one of those tools. In fact, I use the full paid version of it for Windows, and it’s one of a few main reasons that I haven’t left my laptop for a Chromebook.

Snagit is a screen capture and screencasting app. It allows users to capture images and video off their own screen, just as they view it on their own devices. Users can then add text, lines and shapes to images and save everything to their devices or upload them to Google Drive, YouTube and other locations.

You don’t need the paid version, though. Snagit is available in a free Google Chrome extension. If you have the Google Chrome web browser, it can be installed and found as a little icon in the top right corner of the browser.

(UPDATE: As of fall 2016, the Snagit Chrome extension has been retired. It’s no longer available for download from the Chrome web store. If you and your students already have it installed, you can still use it. TechSmith (the company that created it) is not providing support or updates to it anymore.

Alternatives to the free Snagit Chrome extension are suggested below in this post. You can also purchase the Snagit software for your computer, which has more features than the free Chrome extension did. Education pricing is $29.95 per license, which is 40 percent cheaper than standard pricing. Click here for details about purchasing Snagit.)

The Chrome extension doesn’t have as many features as the Windows/Mac software, but there’s a lot you can do with what it has.

  • Image capture: Once you’ve captured an image, you can add a rectangle outline, a circle outline, an arrow and text. You can also get a link to your image to share with others and/or download the image to your device.
  • Video capture: When you’re done recording, you can copy a link to the video you just created in Google Drive, upload the video to YouTube or create an animated GIF out of the video.

Click here to get the Snagit Google Chrome extension. Click here to see information on purchasing Snagit software for Windows or Mac (and be sure to click on the educator discount!).

Because it integrates so easily with Google Drive, Snagit is a wonderful partner for Google Classroom! Below, see all the ways you can integrate these activities with Google Classroom.

Need to see how it works? Check out the walk-through video below …

Here are 20 things Snagit makes possible in the classroom:

IMAGE CAPTURE IDEAS

(Note: There are lots of ways to take a screenshot with your device. This website has instructions for lots of different types of devices. Awesome Screenshot is another Chrome extension that many use to do what the Snagit Chrome extension used to do.)

1. Grab an image — Sometimes, images are embedded in other images and can’t be copied easily. I’ve even had trouble copying an image off a Google Slides presentation and needed an alternative. Often, copy/paste or saving an image are the easiest methods, but it doesn’t always go smoothly. Using Snagit to save an image can be a faster, easier solution.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Once students have taken a screenshot of anything, they can add that image to any Google Apps file.

2. Turn in work — Learning management systems and Google Classroom make it easier for students to turn in work. But sometimes they don’t work exactly as we’d like. Plus, when students do work on certain websites, there’s no easy way to capture what they’ve done and turn it in. A Snagit screen capture can be uploaded or sent to the teacher as a simple image file (JPEG) or pasted into a document to turn in.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Students can turn in images they capture with the Snagit Chrome extension. They click to attach a file to an assignment submission and attach the image file they just took.

3. Mapping quizzes/activities — Students can use Snagit to show their knowledge of parts of a map. Provide a link to a blank map or add one to your class website or Google Classroom. Students can use Snagit to capture the map and then use the arrow, rectangle, circle and/or text tools to mark it up, describing what certain parts are.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment with instructions on what students should do with their maps. Provide a link to a map or let students find one of their own using an image search. When they’re done marking the map, they can attach the new image file (saved in the TechSmith folder in their Drive) to their assignment to turn it in.
An example of No. 4 -- chart a trip. (Click for full size)

An example of No. 4 — chart a trip. (Click for full size)

4. Chart a trip — Need to provide directions to students, parents or someone else? Use Snagit to capture an image of the map (from Google Maps or elsewhere). Then use the arrows and text to make it clear. If necessary, use multiple screen captures (a zoomed-in map of the arrival point and a zoomed-out version of the entire trip). Foreign language students could describe a trip turn by turn using commands and directions vocabulary. History students could chart out where certain historical events happened or paths of certain trips (i.e. Lewis and Clark).

  • Google Classroom integration: See mapping quizzes/activities above.

5. Step-by-step tutorial — Instead of giving written directions of what students should do, show them with screen shots taken with Snagit. Add text boxes to number the images and provide additional instructions.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Students capture images from their screens and add them to a Google Docs document, Google Slides presentation or Google Drawings drawing. They attach the file to the Google Classroom assignment and submit.
An example

An example of No. 6 — news article summary. (Click for full size)

6. News article commentary — Taking screenshots of a news article lets students highlight and discuss the important points of it in a simple, easy to access form. Capture a certain region of the article or use the scrolling image capture feature to take an image of the entire page, top to bottom. Students can underline or put a rectangle around important sentences and paragraphs and add commentary.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Students take the screenshot and mark it up. When done, they attach the image to the assignment and submit.
  • Pro tip — When capturing text, if there’s some blank space next to the text, it’s a good idea to capture some of that blank space. That gives you some space to write comments without covering over the article.

7. Summarize videos with screenshots — Reporting what happened in a video or summarizing it can be tricky in just written form. Use Snagit to capture images from a video to better explain what happened or to discuss it.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Students watch a video and stop it when necessary to take screenshots. They can add comments on the screenshots themselves with Snagit or add them later. Students add screenshots to a document, slide presentation or drawing in Google Apps with any necessary text explanations. When done, they attach the file to the assignment and submit.

8. Collecting information — Snagit can help with research. When students find a valuable resource, they can grab a quick screenshot of it. They can paste it into a document or save the image to a folder of research findings.

  • Google Classroom integration: Students create a shared Google Document or Google Slides presentation as a place to collect screenshots of research. They can attach them to a Google Classroom assignment if you want them to show examples of their research.

9. Creating icons — Having a smaller version of an image or a small segment of that image makes a nice icon. It can be used as a clickable button on a website or as a visual representation of an assignment or idea. Snagit lets you create those little icons with a screenshot.

  • Google Classroom integration: You can place these icons on the documents, slides or other files that you share with students.

10. Digital bulletin board with Padlet — Snagit and Padlet can work nicely together. Padlet is like a digital bulletin board that you can add virtual sticky notes to. Have students capture examples of a topic you’re studying in class from the web. They can add them to notes on a Padlet wall. Create one wall for the whole class or have each student create his/her own Padlet wall. The class’s creations can be displayed on the projector for everyone to see or embedded in the class website. You can also provide a link to parents so they can see what the class has done.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Have students create the Padlet board and add all necessary content (text, images, links, etc.). When done, students copy the link to the Padlet board and attach the link before submitting the assignment.
An example

An example of No. 11 — speech bubbles. (Click for full size)

11. Speech bubbles — Analyzing what someone must be thinking or would be saying can be higher order thinking, especially when there’s no written record of what was said or thought. Take a historical picture or a work of art and ask students to add speech bubbles to it using Snagit’s rectangle and text tools.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Let students find an image using an image search tool (there are some suggested sites here) and capture the image. Once they’ve added speech bubbles, they can attach that image to the assignment and submit.
  • Note: This activity can be done within Google Apps easily without Snagit. Create a Google Drawing, insert an image by going to Insert > Image … > Search, and adding speech bubbles with the shapes tool. However, it can also be done with Snagit!

12. Computer errors — We all get glitches on our computers and devices. It usually helps IT personnel if they know what the screen looked like when the glitch happened. If possible, use Snagit to capture error messages or the entire screen to provide with an IT help ticket. (Idea from Techsmith’s 3 Snagit workflows video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKFjY0mdM6Q)

13. Reports home to parents — Emails are a quick way to communicate messages to parents. But if you’re trying to describe a student’s work on an assignment or something visual, a picture might be best. Capture an image of what you’re trying to describe with Snagit and add comments with the text tool. Provide a link to the image for parents or save that image and attach it to the email.

VIDEO CAPTURE IDEAS

(Note: The terms “video capture” and “screencast” will be used interchangeably here to describe a recording of the computer’s screen either with or without an audio recording with the microphone. Since Snagit’s Chrome extension was retired, my top recommendation for a screencasting Chrome extension is Screencastify.)

14. Verbal feedback — Conferencing with students about research papers, essays, etc. can be tricky. Teachers often want to give them face-to-face, one-on-one time but don’t want to waste the other students’ time. Creating screencast videos of students’ work can accomplish that. Record the screen with the student writing and use the microphone to record your voice as you give feedback.

  • Google Classroom integration: Bring up the student’s essay/research paper/etc. Start recording the screen with Snagit (make sure the mic is on!) and give the student feedback. When you’re done, click the three dots button in Snagit and copy the Google Drive link. Paste that link into a private comment to the student in Google Classroom.

15. Stop motion animation — This activity is so much fun with Google Slides. Create a slide presentation and create the first slide of an animated video with images, shapes, lines and text. Then duplicate that first slide and move part of it very slightly. Duplicate again and move slightly. Repeat until the entire animated scene is complete. It’s like a flip book where the characters come to life! Start a Snagit video capture and flip through the slides quickly to record your animated scene.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Have students create the slides in a Google Slides presentation and record the animation with Snagit. When finished, students can attach the video to the Google Classroom assignment.

16. Virtual debate — Let students spar verbally about a topic in your classroom using a Snagit screencast. Create some presentation slides using Google Slides that either show the topics they’ll be discussing or supporting information. Students debate using the microphone and use the slides (or quick Internet searches on the screen) as the visual aides for the presentation.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Have students create the slides in a Google Slides presentation and record the debate with Snagit. When finished, students can attach the video to the Google Classroom assignment.

17. Virtual walking tours — Let students take you on a walking tour of someplace in the world. Have them do some research and collect some facts about the location first. Then they can load up the location using Google Maps Street View. By dragging the little yellow man in the bottom right corner of the screen to a specific spot on the map, they’ll generate a panoramic interactive view of the location as if they were standing on the street. They start recording a screencast video with Snagit. Students narrate the tour as they “walk” the streets using Street View.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Have students go to Google Maps Street View and record the screen with Snagit. When finished, students can attach the video to the Google Classroom assignment.

18. TV commercial — Let students practice persuasion by creating a simple TV commercial with Snagit and Google Slides. Have them create images to display on screen using Slides. Then they present those slides and record them with their voices in Snagit.

  • Google Classroom integration: Create an assignment for this activity with instructions. Have students create the slides in a Google Slides presentation and record the commercial with Snagit. When finished, students can attach the video to the Google Classroom assignment.
  • Pro tip — Use the “Present with speaker notes” option to record slides and then close the speaker notes window. This puts the slides in a version of the browser with the least amount of distracting icons, letting the viewer focus more on the message.

19. Record a video call — There are call recording options for Skype, and you can record a Google Hangout by making it a Hangout on Air. But if you’re doing a video call and want to record it very simply, use Snagit. You’ll want to make sure your microphone is turned on and that it can hear your speakers. The audio of the other end of the call will be through the speakers, so the audio quality won’t be great, but it is definitely an easy option. (The full software version of Snagit can record “system audio,” the audio that feeds to your speakers.)

  • Google Classroom integration: Once you’ve recorded the call with a Snagit video, you can provide a link to it for students in a Google Classroom announcement or in the About tab.

20. Flipped instruction video lesson — Snagit offers a very easy way to create instructional videos. Display visuals you want students to see on your screen (with slides, web searches, typing on a document, etc.) and record your screen with the microphone picking up your voice as you teach. When your video is complete, share it with students by providing them a link to the video from Google Drive. Click the three dots button when your video is complete to do this right after you finish or find the video in Google Drive and use the share button.

  • Google Classroom integration: Record the video with Snagit. When finished, attach it to an assignment/announcement you provide for students so they can watch. You can also create a Google Form survey with questions to answer related to the video. You can add the video to the Form if it’s on YouTube (an option with Snagit!) or provide a link to the video in Google Drive by pasting the link into the form somewhere.

[reminder]How else might you use image or video capturing in the classroom? Do you have any tips for others who want to use them?[/reminder]

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