Using what you see
A common question by teachers is, How does one take a screen shot to illustrate a particular point? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how do I make one of those pictures - especially if I am not an artist or programmer? How does one make one of those cool screen casting videos?
Screen capture & annotation
Print Screen for Basic Screen Capture
If you are on a Windows computer, then the simplest (free) method is to to take a screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key (PrtScn, typically on upper right of standard keyboard). The next step is to Paste the image wherever you want (use Ctrl+V). Paste it into Word, PowerPoint or wherever. You may then want to scale it by holding Shift while dragging the image from the corner. The Shift key constrains proportions. Depending on the program you are pasting into, you may or may not be able to annotate. For example, you can use WordArt in Word.
Ar you on a Mac? Start with Command-Shift-3 to capture whole screen. Instructions on how to customize your Mac screen capture.
If you are on an iPad, then simultaneously hold down your round Home button and the Sleep/Wake button. Either of these actions will Copy the entire screen image. You will then find the image in your Photos app.
Products for Screen Capture with Annotation
TechSmith is a great friend of teachers and presenters. I use SnagIt all of the time. It only costs $30 (one time) for educators, and it allows you to annotate and create catchy graphics like arrows and speech bubbles. However, TechSmith also offers Jing for FREE! Jing allows you to capture what you see, annotate, record what you do, and then share through Screencast.Com (free version).You can check out online videos and also download trials. See some screencasts that I made with Camtasia Studio.
Adobe created the PDF (portable document format) standard. It is free for download. Many people do not realize that anyone can Print to PDF. Simply right click and select Print, or hold down Ctrl+P. However, instead of just hitting Enter or Print, select PDF as your Printer. This may also appear as option called Save as PDF. You can do it with Word docs, web pages, whatever.
Annotation is called commenting by Adobe. Reader XI comes with a full set of commenting tools. So you can add sticky notes, highlight text, and use lines, shapes, stamps, and a typewriter tool to place comments anywhere on your PDF document.
Apps for Note-Taking, Annotation and Sharing
A number of Apps allow you to capture your screen and then mark it up. My top picks:
- Evernote is a free app that works on iOS, Android or PC. Capture just about anything with your phone or tablet. Or simply enter notes. Find out more.
- Notability costs $1.99, but in my opinion, it is worth it for a teacher or student. You can take notes, annotate PDFs and then easily share with Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Dropbox is free and works with just about any platform. It has become the standard for sharing by educators and many more professionals as well. Dropbox is a home for all your photos, docs, videos, and files. Anything you add to Dropbox will automatically show up on all your devices, so you can access from anywhere.
People have asked me, "What do you use for web page authoring?"
- Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 is the web authoring tool I use. I do love it for its ease of use, the ability to switch from design to code view, the ability to upload without hassle, and the way it guides me through the mine-field of CSS. The program does cost money, but it is now available for a monthly subscription fee as part of Creative Cloud.
- Google Sites is part of the Google Apps suite. It is totally free. They have a ton of free, very engaging templates. Check them out. Google also provides an extensive Help and Support site. Start with the Beginner's Guide.
- NVu is an open-source web authoring tool. It is totally free, maintained by good people, and it is good software. I have used it in the past, and I recommend it. If you do not have a place to host your site, they will do it for $4.99 a month.
- Who Runs the Internet?
Who's driving the bus, anyway? Since the days of DARPA, the Internet was designed as the ultimate design in decentralized communication. An infographic from ICAAN.