Skitch as a Teaching Tool


Skitch as a Teaching Tool

Posted by Stefanie Fazzio on 04 Jun 2012

Posted by Stefanie Fazzio on 04 Jun 2012


Steve Lai teaches French as a second language to 6-10 year old students at Richmond Christian School. In addition to his day job, he teaches children how to play the guitar. Steve shares how he uses Skitch in the classroom to create colorful, interactive visuals that help students learn.

A different way to teach French

I love the simplicity of Skitch — using it with my students takes only a matter of seconds, and there are unlimited possibilities. 

Skitch has allowed me to teach French in an engaging and interactive way that resonates with my young students.

  1. I snap pictures or take a screenshot of anything that visually displays a word or category of words, like clothing, colors, and diagrams of the body.
  2. I hook up my iPad to a projector.
  3. I use Skitch to annotate the image. My students are able to chime in and respond to what’s happening on the screen; for example, I’ll color in a pair of pants, then draw an arrow and prompt the students to name the color. Or, I’ll ask a student to come up and color another part of the image. I sometimes take pictures of (willing) faculty members and call on students to draw silly clothes or hairstyles on them. Skitch makes learning more fun, and turns it into a group activity that’s very engaging.

Skitch makes technology accessible. My students are really excited about using iPads, and Skitch gives them a fun and easy way to interact with them. They are amazingly proficient, and Skitch is so intuitive that they can go home and play around with it on their own almost immediately.

Skitch makes it easy to share. I can share all of the images we create in the classroom on my blog, so parents can see what their child has accomplished. Skitch then becomes not only a great teaching tool, but a great communication tool that can be used to keep parents updated with what’s going on in my classroom.

Skitch for illustrating motion. For French language instruction, my school uses the Accelerated Integrated Method which pairs words with actions in way that’s similar to sign language. Skitch is great for helping kids practice and learn the movements. To do this, I take a picture of myself posing in the correct position, then use arrows and text to describe the motion.

Skitch on the go. I work in a school where I switch classrooms throughout the day, and I have a cart of materials that I take with me between each class. With Skitch on my iPad, I can just snap photos so I don’t have to lug around a bunch of coloring books or other papers on my cart. All I need is my iPad and an HDMI cord/adapter!

Skitch for showing complex chords to my guitar students

In addition to teaching French, I’m also an avid guitar player and give lessons to students on the weekends and evenings. Before Skitch, I used to take pictures of my fingers’ positions for different chords and then just list them in order for my students to help them memorize the placement. Now I use Skitch to quickly label and share — it’s so much easier to keep track of what chord I’m trying to show them. I simply snap a photo of my fingers in the correct position, use Skitch’s text or drawing tool to label it, and share it via email. Marking up chords in Skitch is a cinch and it really helps students visualize where they need to place their fingers to get the right sound.

Do you use Skitch as a teaching tool? Leave your tips in the comments below!


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12 Comments RSS

  • Lourdes

    Excelente ferramenta!!!!

  • Dani

    I had my fourth grade students take pictures of angles and lines at school. They then use skitch to label their pictures. We put all their pictures together in an animoto videoa. We did something very similar with our matter unit in science, except that time they also used skitch to draw diagrams of the states of mattter at the molecular level.

  • Beavenour

    It’s been almost a year since Phil said Skitch for windows was less than six months away. What’s the holdup??

  • Francesca

    Kudos to you, Steve! What a creative way to use Evernote to teach kids French / guitar!

  • SungkyunRha

    Let’s learn skitch the concepts

  • Amber Ravenscroft

    Why oh why can’t you get Skitch for iPhone? I loved using Skitch with Evernote on my Android phone, I really really miss it on my iPhone.

    • John

      Agreed!! I would love to see the Skitch tools integrated right into the Evernote editing window too.

  • Corinna

    Great work, Steve… so interesting.

    Will Skitch will work with the new iPhone 5 when it comes out? That would be so handy.

  • Rita "MissFunglish"

    I use Skitch to annotate students’ assignments with the highlighter function on my Galaxy A.
    It also works for mindmapping because you can smoothly zoom in and out on a huge area. I really love it.

  • Slim

    I like the fact that you use drawing and new technology as way of teaching.
    I really think it make more impact on students so it’s easier to memorize the information.
    Thank you for the idea!

  • Sherry

    But I thought Evernote and skitch could not be used by students under 13???? I even emailed Evernote and they said no to anyone under 13…. Why advertise to an audience that you say are not allowed by law to use your product?

  • Helper

    Looking at the above it seems like all the things you love about using Skitch to teach are remarkably similar to the things you can use to teach if you have an interactive whiteboard system such as mimio. Except there’s much more. So if you haven’t heard of it, it’s worth looking up. Thank you for your time.