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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Do Some Birds Eat Dirt? - National Geographic Explains

National Geographic's YouTube channel includes a fun playlist of short videos about interesting science facts. The playlist is called Today I Learned or TIL for short. In the playlist you will find videos that answer questions like "why is the ocean salty?" and "why do some birds eat dirt?"

The answer to "why do some birds eat dirt?" is provided in the video below. It's a short explanation of why macaws seek salt and other minerals found in dirt.


Applications for Education
The videos in Today I Learned aren't long enough to be full flipped lessons, but they could be useful as warm-up material to spark your students' curiosities about a topic.

CaptureCast - Record Screencasts on Your Chromebook

CaptureCast is a free Chrome extension that enables you to create screencast videos on your Chromebook. With CaptureCast installed you can record everything that you display on your Chromebook's screen. The CaptureCast extension gives you the option to record your sound. An option to record yourself through your webcam is also offered in CaptureCast. In fact, you could choose to just record your webcam and sound to make a video blog entry.

Recordings made with CaptureCast are saved on your Chromebook under the "manage media" tab in CaptureCast. From there you can upload your video directly to YouTube or save it to Google Drive.

Applications for Education
I used CaptureCast to create the video in my earlier post about VideoNot.es. CaptureCast is good for that kind of tutorial video. You might also use it to record a short lecture over slides that are in your Google Drive account.

As I mentioned above, CaptureCast could be used to create video blog entries by just selecting the webcam and sound options instead of the desktop recording option. Video blogging can be a good way to get students to share observations about what they have learned in your classroom without the pressure of having to write.

Creating screencasts and flipped lessons is one of the topics that will be covered during the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp and the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp. I hope that you can join us this summer. 

How to Use VideoNot.es With Google Drive

VideoNot.es is a great tool to connect to your Google Drive account. With VideoNot.es you can take notes on one side of your screen while watching a video on the other side. Your notes are automatically synchronized with the timestamps in the video. You can share your notes just like you share any other file within Google Drive. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how VideoNot.es works.



The screencast video above was recorded on a Chromebook. Creating videos on Chromebooks is one of the topics we'll cover in-depth during the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp, I hope that you can join us.