greenshot-exampleA little while ago, I did a presentation for teachers about using technology. I used Google presentation and I threw in a couple of marked up screenshots from different webpages showing how to login or access the site. I thought it was a pretty basic presentation.

Afterwards, I had a couple of teachers come up to me, and talk about how impressive the presentation was. I think it was because I put in pretty arrows on the screenshots.

Years ago, I remember adding arrows, circles, and colored rectangles (to block out sensitive information) using Photoshop. It took longer than I’d care to admit.

snipping toolThen, I saw that Windows 7 came with a Snipping tool that lets you take a snapshot of part of your screen and mark it up with a pen. I thought this was incredible.

You could highlight text and hand draw circles around important stuff before you even saved your screenshot. The only problem was that I thought my handwriting always look a little messy.

Then I found Greenshot and Greenshot is 20 times better than the snipping tool in Windows because you can quickly create neat and professional looking notes on your screenshots.

Plus, Greenshot is free.

Here’s what I like about Greenshot:


  1. It has a simplified but powerful graphic editor. You don’t have to worry about multiple layers. Just click the selection tool and you can change your markups. (With the Windows snipping tool, you can’t undo or change your annotations.)
  2. Super easy to draw circles around stuff.
  3. Super easy to draw arrows. Greenshot remembers your last settings so all of your shapes and mark up can have the same style.
  4. And, super easy to add text.
  5. It’s easy to highlight text. You simply draw rectangles with the highlighter tool so you can highlight text or images.
  6. You can blur out (obfuscate) part of your screenshot to remove sensitive information.
  7. Add cool border effects like torn paper or drop shadow (or at a basic rectangle.)
  8. You can crop your screenshots before you save them.
  9. You can add shadows to all of your arrows, boxes and text to add a professional feel to your work.

There are other cool options.

  • I have it set up so when I hit the print screen button, it lets me capture a region, but I could also set it up so that the print screen button captures the full screen, a specific application window, or just Internet Explorer.
  • I use Greenshot to create tutorials (like this one), so I have it set up to automatically open the screenshot in the image editor, but I could just as easily set the destination to automatically open up in Microsoft Word, upload to dropbox, or just save to my computer.
  • I also like how Greenshot gives me a magnifier when I’m trying to capture region, so I can make sure that I don’t get any unnecessary stuff.

How could you use screen capture software in the classroom?

Let’s say you want to showcase student work.

  • If you are student handin work electronically, you simply open up the document of Google Docs, take a screenshot, and you can start highlight or underlined text. You can also blur out the student name or anything else that you don’t want the class to see.
  • If the work is on paper, just snap a photo of the handwritten work using your phone. Upload the image to dropbox. Open the file on your computer and take a screenshot of the picture to get into Greenshot.

If you’re going to the computer lab, you could take a screenshot of the website that you want students to go to, and highlight or make jot notes directly onto the screenshot.

  • That way, students have a visual reminder of what to do.
  • Some of your students (with or without learning disabilities) will miss instructions the first time.
  • Now, after your done walking students through what they have to do, you can put on the computer projector, a marked up screenshot reminding students what to do.

If you teach art class, you could snap a photo of student work or your teacher example, and markup important features that you want them to know.

If you teach in the science lab, you could snap a photo of equipment and then add arrows to the screenshot to show important safety features.

How do you use screen shots in your classroom?



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