Skitch is an APP from the Evernote company and is an exciting learning tool, that I think, should be in every teachers' arsenal. This simple to use and FREE APP can turn any screenshot, photo or blank screen into a learning tool or activity. There are a set of tools that you or your students can use to - label aspects of photos, write a description, highlight a specific area of interest or crop a shot to suit your specific study. Once you have "Skitcherised" your photo etc, you can immediately Tweet, email and/or save your work to your Camera Roll. There is also a very handy Undo button you can use as you work on your masterpiece.
How To Skitch - Getting Started
The layout of this APP means you don't need to be a total techno geek to use it effectively. From the moment you open the APP (graphic on right), you see icons that are self explanatory. For example, if you want a photo from your file, touch the Photo icon on the left side of the top line. To take a photo and use it straight away, touch the Camera icon. Want to take a screenshot of that page? Touch the Snapshot icon on the top line. Want to include and annotate a webpage in a presentation or have your students select a webpage. Just click on the Web icon and enter a URL or complete a search. Use a map to show specific areas, locations, directions, distances or tourist attractions by touching the Map icon. You can always start with a clean slate and select the Blank option for your students to demonstrate any concept you want.
Before I demonstrate how to use this APP I'll introduce you to the tool Team you will be using. You probably would have seen a couple of the icons for the tools before. The Shape tool has three options you can use to highlight aspects of your photo - circle, rectangle and line. There are eight colours to use and a sliding bar to select size of arrow, shape or font in the Colour & Size tool. Touch the Freehand Icon to use your finger or a cursor to write on the photo. Select the Text Icon then touch the screen to position the text. The text box will be displayed and you can input the data etc. Your Arrow tool is limited to one style, but you can change the size (thickness) and colour. For my money the Select tool is a great feature of this APP, allowing you to edit features you have made onscreen. You first touch the icon then touch the object you want to move or change. You can lengthen and move the head of an arrow to another spot.
To show you the ease of using Skitch I'll demonstrate how I used the tools on the photos to the right.
1. I clicked on the Map icon and selected my local area - Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
2. For this section I gave a title to the map and showed the Sunshine Coast area by using the text and shape tools. To create the rectangle to outline this area, you select the style from the tool menu and touch the screen and drag your finger. I also noted a couple of tourist sights by using the arrow tool.
That is all you need to do before using the save, email and/or Twitter icons to complete your task.
Want to create your own Skitch images? This is as easy as selecting Blank from the icons on the Home screen. You use the tools in exactly the same way and change the blank canvas into a learning masterpiece.