App of the Week: Skitch

Title: Skitch
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS 5 or later, Android 1.6 and up

I’ve used the Skitch program on my MAC for several years. It’s a great software that makes it easy to take and annotate screenshots. Last week when I learned that there was now a Skitch iPad app I thought, “That’s going to be interesting.” Then when I tried it out I thought, “This is really useful.”

skitch main screenThe basics are pretty simple. Once Skitch is installed all a user needs to do is select from the screenshot options to begin working with an image. Options include annotating photos from the device camera roll or photos taken within Skitch using the device camera, web pages, and maps. Once the screenshot type is selected users can start annotating using the built in Skitch tools. These include drawing, text, and cropping tools. It’s also possible to use different colors in annotations (the color palette is pretty limited however) and highlighting content using different shapes – square, circle, and freehand.

annoated Skitch image Once an annotation is added to a diagram it’s possible to tap it and make a change. For example, if you place an arrow on an image and decide it’s not in the right place, by tapping and holding on the arrow it’s possible to move it to another location. Text can also be edited in the same way, tap and hold and an edit command pops up on the screen.

In this version of Skitch on the iPad it isn’t possible to select a font family or font-size, which would be useful. Perhaps in an update that will be possible.

Images annotated with the Skitch app are saved by the app. It’s possible to share an image via Twitter or email. Users can also save the image to the device camera roll or stream it to a TV using AirPlay on an iPad. The AirPlay feature is interesting as it could be useful in teaching and workshop environments. save Skitch to Evernote If you have an image on which you want to highlight different components while teaching or leading a workshop session, you can do that on your iPad with Skitch and AirPlay. (You can learn more about AirPlay on the Apple website.)

Skitch was purchased by Evernote a few months ago and that means that it’s easy to upload Skitch content to an Evernote account.

Along with the live annotating mentioned above, there are several ways in which teens and librarians might find using the Skitch app useful. These include:

  • Teens that are using iPads and Android tablets in the research process can annotate search results lists. For visual learners being able to point out with arrows and boxes results of interest and write notes on the actual results list screen could prove very useful.
  • Skitch makes it easy to add notes and comments to photos. Teens can comment on photos that they take with a device and which they might add to a homework project, use as a tool for creating a visual outline for a project, or use in a storyboard for a video on which they are working.
  • Teachers, librarians, and teens that create how-to handouts can integrate annotated Skitch screenshots into those documents. Anyone developing a handout that provides step-by-step directions on how to download ebooks from the library, for example, can use annotated images created right on the device for which they are providing instructions.
  • If teens have a device with them on a field trip they can use the map option to locate themselves on a map right in the Skitch app. It is then possible to annotate the map of the area with details of what teens see and/or learn at the location.

These are just a few of the possibilites for Skitch use by teens and those that work with them. The screencast below shows how some of the features of Skitch work.

I expect that over time we’ll see more features added to the Skitch app which will make it an even more useful tool for teens and librarians.

For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.
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