Today at day 3 of the Leyden Symposium I decided to attend the Google Apps is the Key session led by Mikkel Storaasil since I enjoyed it so much last year. Mikkel asked us to tell him on TodaysMeet what we were hoping to get from the class and then he led the discussion along those lines. My favorite area of discussion was screencasting on Chromebooks. Mikkel suggested we try Snagit or Screencastify. I decided to give Screencastify a whirl. I had to update my Chrome browser to Chrome 36 because when I first tried it I recieved a message that it was not compatible with versions before 36. Once I rebooted my Chromebook and it updated, I was able to add Screencastify from the Chrome store. It allows you to capture a Tab or the Desktop and you can embed a webcam video in bottom-right corner of your screen.
Another tool Mikkel mentioned was the Google tasks panel. This is one of those seemingly insignificant tools that you suddenly realize has value. Mikkel said it was pretty useful and it was not that I didn’t believe him, I just wondered why. I found out later during the student panel when some of the students mentioned it was one of their favorite tools for keeping their daily tasks and to-do list always handy.
The students were so awesome in their truthfulness about the pros and cons and their experiences with the 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative. One of the things they love is not having to tote about heavy backpacks full of books since most everything is in their Chromebooks. They also like that they are always at hand making it easy to do their work. When asked about their favorite tools to use on the Chromebooks, besides the Google tasks panel they also mentioned:
- StudyBlue flash cards
- Google Drive
- Google video chats
Thanks to all the staff and students at Leyden that shared with the participants during the 3 day Leyden Symposium. I learned so much!