Free Web Tools… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post about free web tools.
Here are some ideas or topics you may wish to include:

  • Share your absolute favorite free web tool and discuss why

  • Write a ‘how-to’ post on using a free tool

  • Do a review in a category of multiple free web tools – for example, compare 3 web tools for photo editing

  • Discuss any thoughts or experiences you have about free web services

  • Talk about a time when a free service you were using shut down

Since I share about different tools often, the last bullet point jumped out at me.

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful extension,
That started as a free tool,
Aboard the Chrome dimension.

The device was a mighty screen capturer,
It snapped and recorded,
All synced to your Google Drive,
In a folder, they hoarded, that’s where they’re all hoarded.

The school year started getting rough,
The tiny tool was tossed,
If you were not prepared,
GIF capturing would be lost, GIF capturing would be lost.”

That’s right folks, I’m talking about SnagIt! A tool which was a go-to for me when creating tutorials/how-to’s for teachers. Whether it was a short recorded screencast, a simple screenshot, or my personal favorite, GIFs; SnagIt would do it all! Then it would sync my captures directly to my Google Drive. I loved it, and when I read the news over the summer that Tech Smith was lessening their available tools (SnagIt extension, Screen Chomp iOS app, etc.) to focus on making a few of their other tools the greatest; I started to hear, “Near, far, wherever you are…” (That’s right, Céline Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’)

Hmmm… tangent here, did I just make two tragic boat references in one blog post, yes I did!

I had to scramble to find replacements. And let me tell you there are a bunch of various ones out there, but nothing all encompassing as my dear departed SnagIt. Here are some of the ones that filled in the gaps:

Screencastify took over for my screen recordings. GifIt! (while only really works on YouTube videos) allows me to create gifs. On a chromebook, the shortcut for taking a screenshot took the place of being able to select the part of the screen I wanted to image capture. Finally, I went out and purchased SnagIt for my Mac. While I still feel like the extension was Rose, “I’ll never let go Dan, I’ll never let go” then thirty seconds later it was gone from the Chrome Web Store (another Titanic reference); my heart has moved on to other tools which hopefully will not sink into the internet abyss!

What’s a tool you loved and lost; how does that old saying go, ‘Its better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all’ does that apply to tech tools in education? I would love to read & reply in the comments below.

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