Screenshots are a useful, if not essential, skill for both students and teachers to have, but with so many devices out there, it can be hard to remember how to take a screenshot on an iPad, a Chromebook, a Mac or whatever else you might be using in your classroom. So, here is a quick rundown of all the native methods to do this, as well as a couple of recommendations for third-party services that will give you even more options.
The native screenshot tool on Macs is based around a number of keyboard shortcuts, but once you learn the ones you like best, you will be screenshotting all over the place. So, here is a rundown of what you need to know to take a screenshot on Macs:
- Command+Shift+3: Takes a full screen screenshot and saves it to the desktop.
- Command+Shift+4: Lets you select the area to capture, then saves to the desktop.
- Command+Shift+4+Space: Click an active window to save it to the desktop.
- Command+Control+Shift+3: Takes a screenshot of the screen, and saves it to the clipboard.
- Command+Control+Shift+4: Lets you select the area to capture and saves it to the clipboard.
- Command+Control+Shift+4+Space: Click an active window to save it to the clipboard.
Windows 7 & Windows 8 Desktop Mode
Many keyboards will still have the PrtScn (Print Screen) button. Pressing this will copy a full screen screenshot to the clipboard where you can paste it into another application. However, a much more versatile tool is the Windows Snipping Tool. It lets you capture all, or part, of your screen and save or email the capture right from the app. It comes free with all Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. Learn more here.
Coding in the classroom is becoming an increasingly popular thing to do. The Hour of Code helped raise awareness for that, and has brought to light a whole slew of new coding opportunities for teachers and students. I was similarly inspired, and have committed myself to learning HTML and CSS in my spare time this year. However, regardless of what code you decide to learn, or teach, you will need a code editor with which to compile your code. For me, there are few that have more benefits than the free Editey website editor apps.
Editey apps can be installed inside Google Drive. Simply click Create > Connect More Apps, and search for Editey. Once you have installed the apps you want, all you need to do is hit the big red Create button to get started on some code. All your files are then stored inside Drive and can be accessed anywhere, at any time, on a Mac, PC or Chromebook. Better still, any files you create can be shared with other users and worked on in real time. This means students can collaborate with each other on their code, and share it with their teacher when they are done.
Ever needed to send a file from one iOS device to another? You could email it, but not all student devices are set up with email, and some files (especially video) are just too big to email. You could plug the device into a laptop and transfer the files via USB, but that can be slow, and what if you accidentally sync your device with iTunes and start transferring apps you don’t need to or from your computer? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just beam them from one device to another? Well, you can! Here are three ways to do it.
1. AirDrop – If you have an iPad Mini, a fourth generation iPad, or an iPad Air that is running iOS 7, you can take advantage of AirDrop. This proprietary technology was originally developed by Apple for Macs, but it landed on iOS devices in the Fall of 2013. Unfortunately, it does not work between iOS and Macs, but it is still a great feature to have. It is activated from the new Control Center, and is found in the sharing menu for almost all recent apps. Read more about AirDrop here.
2. Instashare – Before AirDrop, this was my go-to app. It works great on anything running iOS 5 or newer and is free between iOS devices, unless you want to pay the 99c to remove the in-app ads. As a bonus, there is also a Mac and an Android app that lets you share files to those devices too. The Mac app, however, is $2.99. It used to be free, but everyone has to pay the bills right? 🙂 A Windows version is listed as coming soon. Once installed, look for Instashare in the sharing menu of your favorite apps.
Have you ever wished that your school or teacher website had just that little bit more flair? It’s easy to wish for, but unless you have the skills of a graphic designer in-house, and some powerful editing software, it can be difficult to achieve. Until now. Canva is a free, easy to use, online design tool that could be used by teachers and students to create professional quality graphics in no time at all.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are several templates to get you started, but you can also create a design with custom dimensions for something like a website header that might need exact specifications.
Once you pick the template you want, the editor will open with full customization options to make this design your own. It is very simple to use. The search tab on the left lets you search through a bank of images that you can use in your design. There are a huge number of free images and graphics here, but also a selection of premium images which can be bought for $1 each if needed.
Have you ever wanted to know exactly what all of your students understand about your lessons at any given point in time? Of course you have. Every teacher has, but it’s not as easy as you might think. Some students just don’t speak much in class, others might not tell you the truth for fear of looking bad in front of their peers. Even if your students do give you the feedback you need, how do you as the teacher keep track of it, and use it to inform your teaching in real time without interrupting the flow of your lesson? Well, you could use Geddit.
Geddit is simple, but oh so effective. For starters, it works on almost any device with a modern web browser, so it doesn’t matter if you are using Chromebooks, iPads, or even cell phones. The teacher creates a class and starts to prepare their first lesson by adding the key points they want to receive student feedback on as well as any questions that they want to push out to students to check for understanding. The next step is to add students to your class. You choose their username and password so that they can log in to interact with your lesson.
When you are ready to start your teaching, you give students a unique code to join your class. As the lesson progresses, students can “check-in” at any time on their own device by selecting their comfort levels on a series of ascending bars. The feedback is private and updates in real time on the teacher’s screen.
You can send your pre-made questions directly to student devices whenever you are ready for them to answer them, or pause on key objectives to get students to indicate their current comfort levels with the materials. You can also ask questions on the fly if your lesson takes a new direction or you just want to create a quick poll to vote on student ideas.
Looking for a different way to present content and engage students in your lessons? Take a look at SlideIdea – a free app for the iPad that sets out to rival Keynote, Nearpod, Haiku Deck, Swipe and other presentation apps for the iPad. Here are 5 features that I think make it a great app for the classroom.
1.Slide Templates – With clean designs, and plenty of templates to choose from, you can be sure that your audience will not be bored by the same old PowerPoint themes. There are lots to like, and you can preview each one before you decide on the one you want. Templates are customizable to your needs and allow you to change things like the background colors and fonts.
2. Widgets – Need a square frame for your image? What about a collage? The image widgets give you lots of shapes to choose from and can help your slides stand out from the crowd. If you don’t see the one you want, tap the download button to view more. The same goes for the shape tool. Polygons, lines, speech bubbles, and a variety of icons are just a tap away and each one can be customized for color, fonts, borders and more.
3. Screencasting – The built-in screencasting tool lets you record your voice as you flip through your slideshow and will then save it to the app or your SlideIdea web account. As you are recording, you can use some basic annotation tools to draw the viewer’s attention to specific content on the slide. This could be great for students who want to practice a live presentation so that they can play it back for peer or self-assessment.