Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Tech Tool for Teachers

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an online tool that let instructors show their students ways to solve problems, highlight important text and explain the concept, and provide personal feedback? The tool would have to be easy to use and allow students access anywhere and on any device.

That tool may soon be just a download away. Snip is a Microsoft Garage project still in the preview stage, but early results have shown it to be user-friendly for most teachers and their students.

“The simplicity of the tool is one of its major attractions,” Peter West, director of eLearning, Saint Stephen’s College, Queensland, Australia, wrote for eSchool News. “The functions provided make it easy for even a technology-wary teacher to understand and use effectively, and its capabilities are enough for a large percentage of teaching scenarios.”

Once downloaded, Snip allows teachers to explain selected items on a web page, document, worksheet, or any format displayed on a computer screen. The tool provides pens of various colors for teachers to use to explain concepts on the screen, which can then be saved as a video file or screenshot. There is an erase feature in case the teacher makes a mistake, and the entire procedure can be finished in less than 60 seconds, according to West.

“It also provides another valuable tool for teachers to transition to blended and flipped learning,” he wrote. “It is a wonderful example of a simple technology dramatically enhancing learning.”

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