Friday, April 25, 2014

Virtually Attending a Tech Conference Using Twitter

Twitter is a great resource to obtain information shared by millions of others from all over the world.  Conferences are great events to visit as you network with peers in your profession.  However, they can be costly for many of us.  I say check out conferences via Twitter.

Most conferences have a Twitter hashtag.  The conversations shared and resources provided are endless.  You can take part in these conversations whether you are at the conference or not; or simply kick back and peruse through the posts as they scroll by.

What if you aren't a Twitter user?  No problem, you can still read through all the posts by accessing Twitter search at and searching for the hashtag of interest.

A great instructional strategies conference I’ve attended for several years is IntegratED in Portland, OR, usually held in late February.  The hashtag they use is #ipdx14.

If you were to search through #ipdx14 feeds you would find the following:

  • A post referencing the IntegratED environment
    I love that everyone has same name badge (no difference for presenters) Sends message we are ALL here to learn and share

Find a conference and follow the hashtag in Twitter, or go back and review the feed afterwards.  There are great opportuntities to learn new ideas towards improving your craft. At a fraction of the cost to physically attend.

Other hashtags of conferences

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Snagit - Screenshots and Screencasting on Chrome

TechSmith Snagit for Google Chrome is a handy free extension and app that allows nice integration between taking screenshots or screencasting and your Google Drive account.  This is great for those that utilize the Chrome browser or have Chromebooks.

For screenshots, the extension allows you to choose the section of the screen you would like a image of. Once the image is taken there is then the option of using a variety of annotation tools and a variety of color options.  The image then saves into the Snagit App library as well as into a folder labeled "TechSmith" in the Google Drive account.

The screencasting tool is in the Snagit App.  By pressing the + symbol, a new recording will begin, giving you the option of recording the screen or a specific tab.  Adjustments to audio can be made in the settings of the app.  When finished, the recording can be uploaded to youtube and saved into the Google Drive account in the TechSmith folder.  

To make Snagit work, you must install both the extension and the app from the Google Chrome Store. There are a few settings in your chrome browser that may need to be adjusted, which TechSmith does a great job explaining in the two video chops below.  Original Hang Out from TechSmith announcing the new screen recording feature can be found HERE (15 minutes total viewing time). 

Granted, if I am using my Windows 7 computer, I do have access to the snipping tool in the accessories folder for quick screenshots.  The benefits of using the snagit extension over the snipping tool are the extra annotation tools to mark on the image with and the fact that it is automatically saved into a folder in my Google Drive. I use my Google Drive for a lot and this makes pulling in images easy.