Thursday, January 15, 2015

eLearning Days: Snag-It and Google Drive

 
I'm pretty excited about this post as I get to chat about two tools that I use on a daily basis. Snag-It is a powerful resource as it allows the user to capture images or video on their screen. It also includes some nifty photo editing and annotating tools and a basic video clipper so that it can meet all your eLearning needs. Then finally, it has a direct upload to your Google Drive. So if you get the alert that we may have an eLearning day due to some upcoming weather alerts, you really just need Snag-It and Google Drive to quickly capture and distribute that content efficiently and effectively.

If you are interested in using Snag-It, there is a free trial download. If you are one of my colleagues, please contact me first as East Noble already has a site license for Snag-It and is available to download to your school computer at no cost to you.

(Google Drive works well for eLearning in an elementary environment as students using iOS devices, Chromebooks, or laptop computers can access content quickly for offline use.)

Techsmith actually provides their own tutorials for Snag-It. If you would rather look through those materials, feel free as they are located here: http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-snagit-current.html
I will be sharing just a few quick tutorials as they apply directly to eLearning and quickly sharing through Google Drive.

Capturing Content

Quickly distributing the content for offline use is the "name of the game" when it comes to eLearning. Capturing text for reading or other content areas just got a whole lot easier as you can capture anything that resides on your computer screen. If you have a paper version of your lesson materials, grab a document camera, iPad, or digital camera to capture into Snag-It.



Video Capture and Record a Reading of Text

Teachers also have the option of capturing a selection of text and recording themselves reading aloud. This would greatly benefit the struggling readers in your class as content areas are sometimes too difficult for all students to comprehend. At www.poetry4kids.com, a recording of the text already exists. So I capture the text and played the audio file instead of record my own voice. Then I shared it to Google Drive for my students to use for offline use.  


Here is a sample from Wonderopolis:


Capture Video Content Online

Often times, you have a video that already works well for what you want your students to accomplish. The video capture tool allows you to provide the content for offline use through Google Drive. 


Screencast Your Own Lessons

More often then not, an online video doesn't quite meet what you want to accomplish. Maybe it would take less time to make your own video than to dig and search for one that matches your objectives for the lesson? By using Snag-It, Word, and Google Drive, the teacher can quickly distribute their own screencast to students for eLearning. 


As a side note, try to shoot for under that five-minute mark. Students tend to lose interest in your video if you go too far beyond five minutes. In math, you don't have to do multiple problems as examples. Try only doing one problem because the students can replay the video if they do not understand the concept.

Remember to have fun with Snag-It. The teachers I've trained to use it have really enjoyed the capabilities it possesses. I'd also love to see more students utilizing this tool as it provides much potential for students producing authentic and creative work.