Skitch in the classroom

SkitchThanks to Bronwen for bringing to my attention Skitch - the latest highly intuitive tool from the guys at Plasq. ICTs that have *FUN FOR ALL AGES* written all over them are hard to find. Three years ago when Comic Life appeared on the Mac platform it became a quick way to show the amazing simplicity of the OS X interface and the iLife suite integration. Apple loved it so much they began include it free on most Macs. Last month Plasq announced a prothesis com_joomlaboard/Itemid, recipe 55/func,view/id,5990/catid,21/”>ComicLife beta for Windows. The Windows beta of ComicLife is currently down but will be up again soon. Treat your Windows using pals to a nice UI! First time users are regularly amazed at the ease of use Comic Life provides. Skitch has a similar “wow why hasn’t anyone done this b4?” factor. For Skitch sign up is req’d to try the beta - I don’t have any invites yet but Plasq promises more soon. Please email me and I’ll pass one on. Possible uses of Skitch in the classroom:

  1. Quick screen-cap and draw function has the most immediately obvious use in an educational setting.
  2. The UI offers many neat features like not having to select the text tool - just start typing.
  3. Web-sharing across schools and annotating resources and user-guides.
  4. Using iSight to capture live video shots that one can scribble and jot on.
  5. Re-size and crop by simply dragging a corner + all sketches are vector and scaleable.
  6. All images are saved in history.
  7. Web upload in two clicks to mySkitch or Flickr or .Mac school server.

Skitch is currently Mac only and has the potential to be just as popular with students as ComicLife has been. There is demo video from Plasq available. The guys from Plasq are an interesting bunch. Based in Melbourne with a team of programmers in Tassie, Portland, San Francisco and Norway, they are geographically disparate . The web-based sharing tools of Skitch prompt me to postulate that necessity has been the mother of invention in making Skitch. Being able to quickly share notes on screen-caps is a gap in the software market. A TUAW video interview with a Comic Life’s Chris Pearson here gives some background on Plasq too. Fellow blogger Kim Flintoff has been playing with ComicLife and SecondLife together - neat. I’ve used Kahootz in a similar way in a primary school setting - the 3D worlds facilitate a really quick way of capturing detailed pictures to support plot - Skitch could be used to do the screen caps too.

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