Explain and Send Screenshots Example
Google, instructional technology, Productivity, Web 2.0

Tech Tip Tuesday – Create and Annotate Screenshots on Any Computer (Free)

In the past, Skitch was my go-to app for creating annotated screenshots. Sadly, Evernote stopped supporting Skitch in 2015. As someone who uses a Mac, PC (Windows), and Chromebook, I’ve been searching for a free (or inexpensive) solution that works on all platforms. And, Explain and Send Screenshots is it!

What is Explain and Send Screenshots?

Explain and Send Screenshots is a free Google Chrome Extension. It works on any computer using the Google Chrome web browser. Unlike most extensions, Explain and Send Screenshots does not “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit”—making it a safer option.

How Does It Work?

Once you’ve added the Explain and Send Screenshots extension to Google Chrome, you can click on the extension’s icon (see image below) to take a screenshot (image) or screencast (video) of any webpage.

Explain and Send Screenshots Menu

You can also right-click on a webpage to quickly access the context menu.

Explain and Send Screenshots Right-Click Menu

No webpage, no problem. You can annotate on any image (.png or .jpeg) via the Open file… option.

What Are Its Features?

After you take your screenshot, you’ll have several annotation options: circle, square, arrow, line, draw, text, number (and text), highlight, and blur. Blur is especially useful for concealing sensitive information, like students’ names.

ESS Edit Options


Explain and Send Screenshots Example
Annotations Example


When you’re done annotating, you can copy/download/save the screenshot (image) as a .png or .jpeg (image format can be changed under options). Screenshots (image) can also be saved as .pdf using Chrome’s Print… > Save as PDF option. Screencasts (video) are saved as .webm, which can be viewed in any web browser or VLC (media player). They can also be easily uploaded to YouTube.

ESS Share Options

Kaltura and Chrome icons
Distance Ed, Google, Presentation, Video

Important News Regarding Kaltura and Chrome

Google Chrome has been making some updates recently that will directly effect your use of Kaltura in that browser.  Per Kaltura,

As of the latest version of Chrome (42), released last week, Google has decided to block Java by default, as described here: https://java.com/en/download/faq/chrome.xml
This means that the Kaltura Screen Recorder will not function in instances of Chrome that have recently been installed or which have auto-updated to the latest version. The Kaltura Screen Recorder continues to function properly in all other major browsers.
In order to ensure that your Screen Recorder continues to work properly in Chrome (42), please authorize Chrome to use Java, at this link: chrome://flags/#enable-npapi – and click “Enable” (as shown below).
…Please note that Google plans to cease allowing Java functionality in Chrome in September 2015. We will keep you updated regarding our plans for this, later this year.
If you use the Kaltura Screen Recorder you may want to consider using another browser such as Firefox.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact your instructional technologist.