Today we were able to meet with Dave McCollom of TechSmith. He introduced our class to Snagit and googleaday. Snagit is a tool that is available with free or paid versions, on PCs or Macs. Googleaday is an online activity used to practice searching skills through Google. We used the Chrome version of Snagit which is free, a good option for teachers with students with devices in class. After running us through the infrastructure of Snagit’s recording and storage capabilities, we began our research on googleaday.
We were challenged to solve the answer posed by Google under a certain amount of time. As we researched, we recorded our search through Snagit. Once we shared our search’s evidence, we traded our video clips with a partner. Dave asked us to keep in mind our partner’s searching techniques and to note if there were any techniques that we learned from watching. Once I watched my partnter’s search, I realized that I had completely forgotten to use the Google Power Search techniques we learned last year! (I’m thinking that doing a few of these a week would really be great reminders in how to keep my searching skills honed!)
Snagit definitely seems like a great tool to use in class with students. An affordance of Snagit is it’s collaboration with Google Chrome. Saving, sharing and viewing the video files was easy. However, at the same time, Google provides a constraint, as the infrastructure of it’s set up through Google can be a bit confusing. If used effectively though, screencasts could be used to create interactive feedback between teachers and students, students and students, and can give a clear picture of what is happening inside students’ minds. What’s more, Snagit could even help us personalize online learning activities for students, if we choose to elaborate on existing videos created by educators and learners.