Thing 16: Media Skills


Image pixabay CC0 by FirmBee

Photos, graphics, video – media is everywhere! Knowing how to use photos, take video, capture screenshots, annotate images, create collages, share images online and so on, are crucial skills that are as essential as knowing how to use a word processor or a spreadsheet. This lesson is a hodge-podge of tips and tools related to images and video. There should be something new for everyone to explore and practice.

NOTE: Though I’ve tried to find services and tools that don’t stray into the NSFW (not safe for work) area, be aware that you never know what sort of graphics some services might display.

Photos in Education Before we get to the long list of tips and tools, here are some student photo project ideas to inspire you.


Since this is such a long list of resources, we’re putting the learning activity here at the top. Remember, you don’t have to explore everything on this page, there’s a lot here to make sure everyone finds something new and interesting to do.

Your assignment is simple:

  • If there’s one skill you must learn, it’s how to take a screenshot on your computer and mobile devices. Instructions below.
  • Already know how to screenshot? Explore something new to you. Or something familiar, but in more depth.
  • Or create a photo, video or other creative media project of some sort – simple or complex – you choose! Some ideas listed below.
  • Whatever you choose to do, challenge yourself to learn something new and think about how you could use it with students, connecting with your school community, promote library services, etc.
  • Write a blog post about your experience. Embed your project if you can, or link to it so we can enjoy what you’ve done.

Don’t forget to log your blog post when you’re done! When you finish this lesson by fill out the log form. You’ll need the URL of your first blog post to complete the form.

A few ideas for activities:


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL for the post.
  • Return to the lesson page on the CanvasLMS site.
  • Use the SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT button in the CanvasLMS page and paste in your URL.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Canavas LMS system.



Knowing how to take a screenshot is so useful.  Use screenshots to share tips on how to use a website, create a custom image to upload to Pinterest, capture an image for a presentation slidedeck, create posters, add images to web-based projects and much much more.

Windows Screenshot Tips

  • Printscreen key on keyboard – creates an image of the whole screen and puts it in your clipboard, from there you can paste it into any software that will let you paste from the clipboard
  • Alt-Printscreen – Takes a screenshot of the active window.
  • Snipping tool – Free tool built into windows, outline a freeform area, select a rectangular or freeform area, various options for saving.
  • Snip – Microsoft tool for taking a screenshot, annotating it and sharing it.
  • Snagit from Techsmith – ($) Lots of features not available in free tools. Mac & PC desktop application. Free trial. Educational & individual pricing.

Macintosh Screenshot Tips

  • Command-shift-3 – whole screen is copied to your clipboard
  • Command-shift-4 -portion of the screen is copied to the clipboard
  • Grab App – more options – one handy feature is a timer so you can set up what you want to show before the shot is captured.
  • Snagit from Techsmith – ($) Lots of features not available in free tools. Mac & PC desktop application. Free trial. Educational & individual pricing.

Browser Extensions – These tools capture screenshots of what you see in your browser screen. Some are specific to a particular browser and/or operating system.

  • Awesome Screenshot – Chrome, Safari, Firefox browser add-on. Options capturing whole web page, visible part or selected part. Includes cropping, editing, markup. Save online, in your Diigo account, Google Drive or to the desktop.
  • Lightshot – Another browser add on, with similar editing, markup and cropping option. Most unusual feature is option to search Google for similar images right from the screenshot editing window. Handy.
  • Snagit for Chrome – Free version of Snagit for Chromebooks and the Chrome browser with simple editing options. Sends screenshots to your Google Drive account.

Mobile Devices and tablets

  • How to take a screenshot of your iPad or iPad Mini – Push the Power and Home buttons at the same time. The screenshot will appear in your iPad photostream.
  • Taking a screenshot on Android devices varies from device to device. Do a web search for help on this one.

Misc Screenshot Tips

  • Saving an image – don’t forget the simple trick of using your mouse “right click’ to to download an image or save it to your clipboard.
  • Snaggy – Copy an image, then paste to a box on the Snaggy page. Snaggy uploads the image to the web and gives you a URL to share the image. Very handy.


Who needs fancy, expensive editing software when there are some great, free tools available, both online editors and desktop editors.


Powerpoint and Google Slides are handy tools for making a bunch of photo/quote images quickly. Paste a photo into a slide & use the title area to write a quote over top. “Save As JPEG” will export each slide as separate image.

Some online tools for creating quote graphics and word clouds are:

  • Share As Image – Highlight text on a web page, click the browser bookmarklet and quickly create a quote.
  • Quozio – Bookmarklet on browser toolbar turns text into a colorful graphic in a few seconds. Handy.
  • Stencil & Pablo –  Handy tools for creating social media images. Add text, select backgrounds. Search feature to find the right background image. Includes choices of shape and size optimized for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. (Stencil link is a referral link)
  • 23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media
  • Word Clouds with Tagxedo and Wordle


Need an image digitized, use a scanner. Don’t have one? Use a smartphone or tablet app like CamScanner or the scanner built into the Evernote app.


The internet world is once again in love these animated images. They were hot in the mid-90′s when the web was new. And now they’re everywhere again. They’re made by either snipping out a short section of a video or by stringing together some still images and having them loop over and over.

Though animated GIFs can get annoying, they can also be used to create short digital stories. Upload a series of hand drawn and scanned sketches to make a little animated cartoon. Create PowerPoint slides with quotes and images, save them as individual images to create a short slide show. This video, How to Make an Animated GIF, presents a simple, free tool for creating them and uses quote/image slides as an example. (my example)


This is a huge topic in itself. There are so many ways to take video now, with our smartphones, regular cameras and fancy video cams. This section lists a few tools and resources to experiment with. There are tons more!

Video apps

  • Instagram – Video option built in for posting short videos. (iOS & Android app)
  • Magisto – I’m intrigued by this one and haven’t tried it yet. Apps, web and PC. “Magisto turns your everyday videos and photos into exciting, memorable movies you’ll want to watch again and again.”
  • 1 Second Everyday – Chronicle your year with 1 second of video every day. Strangely fascinating. (iOS & Android app)
  • Check out the iPad and Android app stores for more video apps.

Online storage

Editing, etc.





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