Snagit Chrome Extension

As a teacher, technology trainer, and blogger, I use the Snagit Chrome Extension for screenshots and video capture. The desktop version offers features such as blur and highlight, but I find myself using the Chrome Extension more because it saves directly to Google Drive. This proves invaluable when I want to record the student view of Google Classroom from my son's school Google account. I simply share his TechSmith folder with me. I then can use the desktop version of Camtasia to make fancy videos.

Why would I use the Snagit extension? Last year I wanted students to take screenshots of their work as they worked on their Google Slides projects. I taught them the following commands:

I then showed students how to find the picture in the Chromebook downloads folder. Here's the problem, this command did not work on every school Chromebook. Furthermore, accessing the download folder proved to be confusing for some students. Using the Snagit extension is simple to use and the files are easy to find and share in Google Drive.

Why would a teacher want to take screenshots or video? What teacher likes repeating the same directions over and over? Some students understand directions the first time, other students need it repeated once or twice, and a few students need one-on-one teacher directions. The Snagit extension allows teachers to differentiate directions. When a student doesn't understand the directions the first time, he can be directed to watch the video again. If he still doesn't understand, the teacher knows one-on-one directions are needed. Simply by creating the video directions, the teacher can verify that the directions make sense. Videos less than 15 seconds can even be saved as an automated gif. Click here to see an example of a gif in action.

Teachers can also use the Snagit extension while they provide verbal feedback on a student essay. Yes, Kaizena is a cool Google Doc add-on that allows teachers to leave verbal comments and link to additional resources; however, I need to quickly move from student essay to student essay. Typing the feedback and recording my voice as I read awkward sentences helps students understand why I made the suggestion. I can even pause the video until I need to provide feedback.

Recording my feedback process for one student and then posting it on Google Classroom for the entire class to watch is much easier and more effective than providing individual feedback on all 192 students. In this case, desktop version of Snagit would be more appropriate as it allows you to record sections of the screen that hide the student's personal information. I can then require student groups to use the video as a model to revise each other's work as I roam the class, listening to student conversations and focusing the revision experience. As I discussed in Google Classroom Turn-in Button, students need a feedback system that they can understand and that will help them grow as writers.

Why would a student want to use the Snagit extension? According to Teruaki Takahashi, we think in pictures. The Japanese professor of German language and literature said in an interview with Humbolt Kosmos that "You can't separate human thinking from symbolic imagining." In fact, traditional Japanese writing included illustrations on each page. Japanese writers during the Edo era were expected to be both writers and artists. The tradition continues in manga culture. Takahashi emphasized that "Just looking at a picture is boring, and so is just reading a text. A real work of art incorporates both elements." Snagit allows students to incorporate images with their words.

Furthermore, student writing is more effective when we Use Images Before Words, not just with our English language learners, but with all students. If students can screen capture the thought and verbally discuss the thought as a class or in a group, students will have an easier transcribing those images into written words.

The Snagit Chrome extension is a tool that I highly recommend for both teachers and students. Sometimes we need to see the directions before we can follow them. Other times, the visual directions support verbal and written ones after the fact. Sometimes images and videos make the writing more captivating. The Snagit Chrome extension helps teachers and students capture and enhance their brilliant thoughts.


Popular Posts