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.
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:
(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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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