Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast


Why Use Nimbus

Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast is a free tool available in the Chrome Web Store. There are multiple uses for Nimbus that I'll go over in a bit, but students should use it for the mere fact that it is a simple tool to use in order to demonstrate knowledge as they can capture and label anything that is on their Chromebook screen. Why have students use it? It is a fun resource that can be used for both proof of knowledge as well as a creative outlet that can supply the students with the images needed for more extensive projects. 

Overview

With Nimbus, users can capture the entire screen, selected regions, or even scroll an entire page. After the user creates a capture, they have the option to either download the image (check-mark) or go to the editor (pencil). Within the editor, the user can re-size, crop, draw, highlight, annotate, blur, and shadow over the image. The tools are very user-friendly and allow for quick expression of learning. For tablet users, the functionality is very comparable to Skitch.

Once you are finished, you can create a Nimbus account to save your work, download it directly to your device, or upload it to Google Drive. If Google Drive is your choice destination, you also have instant access to a share link so that you can copy and paste the image/access to the image in an email or another website. To improve workflow, I recommend having a Google Drive folder ready prior to uploading. A new folder option for Google Drive is not available in Nimbus.

You also have an option for a video screencast capture. It works very well with very little lag, but it saves in a webm format. It is fine if you are wanting to upload directly to Youtube or Google Drive. However, some video editors will not allow you to edit the video in this format. You may have to convert it using a file conversion tool such as Zamzar.


Student Assignments

When students use Nimbus, they could use it to capture quite a few things for the purpose of completing assignments. 
  • Scavenger hunts for information online.
  • Highlighting important details or research
  • Demonstrating reading comprehension strategies online
  • Capturing a score on a skill based website/app
  • Collecting images and annotating for a presentation, video, or digital poster
Regardless of the use of Nimbus, students need a way to turn it in. The following video demonstrates how to take a Nimbus project and turn it in using Google Classroom. The same concept applies regardless of the learning management system of your choice.