In tonight’s edition of Teacher Technology Tools we look at screen capture applications. Before we start, let me be clear that there are many many programs, web sites, and apps that will allow you to capture your screen image and save it as a series of still images or a video file. There are simply too many to list and still give a reasonable amount of detail to each and so I am choosing my favorite and presenting it, along with WHY I like this one, to give understanding as to how this sort of application can aid you in presenting material to your students.
This application is called ShareX and it is a marvel for making things easy while providing all the features one could need. The install process is simple and direct. Go to the web site, download the file, run the installer, capture your screen, share in literally hundreds of ways. I have never seen a program that can connect to so many different networks and allow you to post to so many different venues.
Once the program is installed there are several parameters that need to be set. One of the first and most important is “How do you plan to share your screen captures”? ShareX will allow you to connect directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, FTP servers, email, Pushbulllet, flicker, twitter, Imagur, Image Shak, Photobucket, Picasa, Amazon, Copybox, ownCloud, MEGA….There are just too many outlets to list. You can also save to your local drive in every possible video format that your computer will handle. In short, this is the Swiss Army knife of screen capture. It has a built-in video and still image editor, as well as color pickers, and programmable hot key short cuts by the score. While all of this performance would seem to require a lot of study, the opposite is true. You can be up and running in no time. The program is intuitive and has a very small memory footprint. It is NOT a resource hog.
Why, you ask, do I need a screen capture program? In our current education environment, the trend is to decentralize instruction and put more and more responsibility for learning into the hands of the student. Standing before a classroom delivering lectures from on high will no longer fill the bill. The move is toward flipped classrooms where the students receive instruction and gather information outside the classroom and then come to class for more direct and individual guidance with questions about the material they gathered the night before from the Internet or other interactive sources. If you are not currently using video and producing multimedia content, you soon will be. Relax, this won’t hurt a bit. Tools like ShareX make it easy to get very professional looking results with only a little dial-up time for the instructor, and no budget outlay for the school. Did I forget to mention that for all it’s features, ShareX is a free program. I can recommend ShareX as a valuable tool to help create material for your students. It is definitely worth your time to investigate.