Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free.
ZoomIt is a brilliant little accessory, written by a Microsoft colleague, Mark Russinovich, to allow you to focus and highlight on areas of your computer screen. Mark originally wrote it for technical presentations, such as demonstrations of applications, and to highlight parts of the screen, but I’ve found it to be really useful on an interactive whiteboard, where you need to enlarge part of your screen so that pupils at the back of the class can see it. And you can also annotate onto the screen, using pen input from your whiteboard or a tablet PC.
You can zoom to an area on the screen so that you can show students where to click in an application, or to zoom onto a particular image. The other handy feature for teachers is the ability to set a timer on a blank screen with one key click (brilliant for the “You have 5 minutes to…” times).
ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows from Windows XP onwards.
Where can I find out how to use it?
There’s a ZoomIt video on YouTube, but not much else – a reflection of how simple it is to use. An easy way to try it is to run it temporarily without installing it (see the Run ZoomIt option on the page below), and then just click Ctrl and the 1 key to activate it.