Monday, January 16, 2012

Love for Skitch

This year, my district purchased/leased one iPad cart of 30 iPads with keyboards per building. I took the lead and facilitated the initial professional development for the teachers to show them how to use the iPads and the iPad Cart. When I give a “How To” presentation, I love to use images to demonstrate. I have found that I work best when I see a picture of how to do something. That image sticks in my mind along with verbal directions.

As most presenters have experienced, when technology doesn’t work during a presentation the world feels like it’s ending. Therefore, I like to create presentations of images that would happen in real life. This also helps me to stay on task to make sure that I don't forget anything. During a presentation, I will have the image slide presentation along with the device available to show in real time.

With so many PD presentations this year, I falling in love with an app called Skitch by Evernote. The first time I heard about it was at the Wisconsin SLATE Conference from Tammy Lind.

Skitch is an awesome app that allows you to annotate an image from photos, screenshots, the web, a map, or just a blank screen. For a long time, I have been doing using the basic drawing tools in PowerPoint or Google Docs presentation to add an arrow or circle, and then add an extra text box. This takes a very long time and can get very frustrating because it rather tedious. What I like about Skitch is that it makes the text and arrows obvious and clear. It's very easy to use. After the image is annotated, one can share it by emailing, saving to photos, or my favorite option, save it to an Evernote account.

Below is the same presentation, one with created with Skitch using screen captures, and the other with the drawing tools from Google Presentation using images taken from an iPevo camera. I think that Skitch makes my presentation look much more professional, and easier to read (it also helped that the screen images were much clearer than the pictures I took with the iPevo).

The Skitch App is available for the iPad, Mac, and Android.