Using Screenshots for Progress Monitoring

Plan for 15 Minutes


A simple, easy to use screenshot can be a valuable tool for progress monitoring in your classroom. It is an image of a point in time, that is easily captured, and then can be used for data analysis.
  1. A screenshot is simply an image of the entire screen on your device (device, laptop, tablet, phone, and probably soon, your watch).
  2. It is easy to capture a screenshot, usually done through a multi-key combination.  Here are the screenshot capture combinations for the most common platforms.
 iOS  Home + Sleep
 Mac  Command + Shift + 3
 Chromebook   CTRL + Window Switcher
 Android           Volume Down + Power for 2 seconds 
 Windows   PrntScr to capture then Ctrl+V to paste
 SmartBoard      Use the Screen Capture Toolbar

  1. What can you do with a screenshot?
    • Accountability - A student can take a screenshot of their screen to show what they have accomplished.  The image can then be placed into a shared folder or emailed to a teacher.  Files have time stamps but there is also usually the date and time visible on the screen.
    • Portfolios - Often saving a presentation of an actual digital file of student work in a portfolio is complicated.  You need to consider sharing, permissions, file types, possibility of editing.  However, sometimes a screenshot is the simplest and fastest way to capture the work.
    • Academic Rigor - Use a screenshot to capture student work then ask them to expand on it.  
      • For example, students capture their work on a screen, paste the image into a Google Doc and then they explain what they are doing and why.
      • Or perhaps they found an image from a particular point in history.  A picture says a thousand words, so what does the image tell them?  Take a screenshot, paste into a Google Doc and describe what they see and why.
    • Screencasts - Screenshots are also a great tool to create other tools.  
      • Creating a how-to screencast? Take screen shots of each step of the process and paste them in to a Google Slides presentation. Then use Screencastify or SnagIt to make a screencast.
  1. There are many more sophisticated tools to capture screenshots and variations of screenshots.
  1. What if student work is not digital?  Consider just taking a picture with the Chromebook or phone and uploading into Drive.