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ZoomIt – Free, Simple Tool to Improve Virtual Collaboration January 10, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in e-Learning Tools.

I read how to change your mouse into a screen pen over at Digital Inspiration and I’m a very happy person right now.  This is a must have tool to have for any e-Learning professional.  Basically it allows you to annotate whatever is on your screen. 

Here are a couple examples…

ZoomIt Example #1  ZoomIt Example #2

Great uses for this include simple annotations to screenshots for training, drawing the design team to a issue on a prototype being tested and highlighting an a problem you are seeing when troubleshooting with your LMS vendor.

Not bad for a free tool.

There are a few drawbacks.  For example, if you make a mistake in an annotation you must start all over again – no incremental undo.  And, at least in my case, the annotations look like they were done by a three year old, but I’m getting better at it.  

Highly recommend getting it and using it.



1. Noelle Archambeau - January 10, 2007

I do a lot of training in the virtual classroom where I teach people how to use software. The easiest way to do this is to launch the software on my computer and show what I am doing to my participants, called application sharing. Until now I haven’t been able to draw on a screen that I’m sharing, but I just tried this ZoomIt tool and it works great – thank you!!!

If you want to draw better than a 3 year old, I recommend getting a pen tablet (made by Wacom http://www.wacom.com). In the virtual classroom it’s great for drawing on slides or the whiteboard – I feel just like John Madden with it!

2. Noelle Archambeau - January 12, 2007

I found one downfall to ZoomIt for virtual training. Since it hails from Bill Gates’ empire (aka Microsoft), it uses ActiveX, which means that you and all of your virtual classroom participants need to launch the virtual classroom software (e.g. WebEx) through Internet Explorer. If a participant is using another browser, then they probably won’t be able to see the drawings you make with ZoomIt.

So unless everyone has IE, you are limited to the drawing tools that the virtual classroom software provides, and most only allow annotations on PowerPoint slides or a blank whiteboard, not on screens you are showing through application sharing. Does anyone know of a virtual classroom tool that allows annotations while you are app sharing?

However, even if ZoomIt doesn’t always work in the virtual classroom, I think it could be a good tool for traditional classroom training. If you are projecting the image from your laptop onto a screen, you could use ZoomIt to highlight items instead of using a laser pointer.

3. How I Build Presentations, appendix 2: Gadgets | SADev - January 27, 2010

[…] ZoomIt Screenshot is taken from Ben Craigo’s blog […]

4. rapidleech - January 15, 2011

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