Jing: A Simple Screen Capture Tool

Like many others talking about education these days, I keep returning to the idea of a flipped classroom. I have talked about making existing videos more interactive using EDpuzzle and eduCanon and even creating new videos with Youtube, but if you really want to create a video that includes images or video of your computer screen, you are going to need a program to do that and Jing will fit the bill.

Jing is a very simple screen capture tool from TechSmith, the makers of Camtasia. It is completely free. To get started, all you have to do is download and install it on your computer. When launched, Jing will hide up at the top of the screen with three options when you scroll over it: capture, history, and more. To start a new project, click capture, select the area of your screen to capture, choose image or video, and save directly to your computer. If you choose video, you have the ability to record audio if you have a microphone connected. History will show you information about past captures and more opens further options including preferences, help, and exit. It is pretty basic, but that can be a good thing sometimes.

Now, you might be wondering why you would need this as an ESL/EFL educator, so let me explain. Imagine you want students to register for a cool new educational website, submit an assignment online, or even just format an essay correctly in Word. With Jing, you can make your own instructional video on how to do these and many other tasks on the computer. These videos will be easier for students, especially those at lower levels, to comprehend than tutorials available on most websites, and they only contain the most important information your students need.

It is far easier to follow along with a video of your instructor’s screen as he or she explains how to properly format an APA paper with the header on the first page different from the header on all the other pages than to follow typed instructions on a piece of paper or try to figure it out on your own. It seems like such an easy task, but unless you do it often, it really isn’t, and a short instructional video would go a long way towards helping students understand that and other computer-related tasks without the frustration that usually goes along with learning new technology.

So, if you have your students using computers for any reason, consider using Jing to give them a little more help when you are not around. Have you ever used Jing or another screen capture tool? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master’s degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.

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5 Responses to Jing: A Simple Screen Capture Tool

  1. matt sone says:

    Nice App, thanks for the sharing. I used to capture screenshot with acethinker website screenshot, works quite well. It’s a web-based application, you don’t have to download or install anything. Share it here as an alternative to Jing.

  2. Laura Patsko says:

    Hi Tara
    Nice post, and I agree that Jing is a great tool for ELTs. I blogged about this once and included an example of how I’d given my students feedback on their writing homework using Jing – you can read about it here:
    https://laurapatsko.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/video-feedback-on-written-work/
    Laura

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for the comment, Laura, and for sharing your post! It’s always great to hear how others are using various sites.

  3. Ivy says:

    Hi, I also want to recommend a classroom resource called SayWhat. It has a website and an app that explains daily slangs in 10-sec videos. I think it’s a great resource for advanced ESL to get some example sentences of trendy words. I really want to write a blog article to introduce it. How should I do that?

    Here’re some examples.

    PhotoBomb
    http://saywhatyo.com/define/photo-bomb

    Trolling
    http://saywhatyo.com/define/trolling

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Hi Ivy, thanks for the comment! I will definitely check out SayWhat. The links you shared were hilarious. I am sure students would enjoy them too. I’ll get back to you on the blog post request.