Sunday, August 8, 2021

Short Lessons on Geothermal Energy and Volcanoes

Iceland is one my favorite places to visit. (I hope to take my daughters there to hike and camp when they're a bit older). That's why I was excited to see a new TED-Ed lesson about Iceland released last week. To say the lesson is about Iceland doesn't tell the whole story. It's really about why there is so geothermal energy harnessed and used in Iceland. 

Iceland's Superpowered Underground Volcanoes is a TED-Ed lesson that explains what geothermal energy, how geothermal energy plants work, and why Iceland is a leader in the use of geothermal energy. The full video and accompanying lesson questions can be seen here.  

National Geographic's Volcanoes 101 explains the types of volcanoes, their shapes, common locations, and what causes volcanoes to erupt.

Applications for Education
Both of these videos are the right length and have the right style and pacing to make them an excellent candidates for a flipped lesson intended to introduce the big concepts connected to volcanoes and geothermal energy. My go-to tool for making flipped lessons continues to be EDpuzzle. You can learn how to use EDpuzzle by watching the video that is embedded below.

Nimbus Screenshot - Scrolling Annotated Screen Captures

Nimbus Screenshot is a free Chrome extension that I've been using and recommending for the last half-decade. It offers tools for creating screencast videos and annotated screen capture images. Nimbus Screenshot includes a feature called Select & Scroll that proved to be very handy to me last week. Select & Scroll lets you capture not only what is currently visible on your screen but also what's visible when you scroll downward.

I've been working on a project over the last few weeks that has required me to create a lot of annotated screen images. I'm making those as visual aids for explanations. On Friday I had an instance in which I needed to annotate something at the top and bottom of a screen. Unfortunately, what was at the bottom was only visible when scrolling downward. I could have taken two screen captures then merged them together. The easier option was to use Nimbus Screenshot's Select & Scroll feature. After using Select & Scroll to capture my screen I was then able to use all of Nimbus Screenshot's editing tools to adding circles, arrows, and text to my captured image. That was a lot easier than trying to merge two screen captures together.

I use Nimbus Screenshot in Chrome, but it is also available for Firefox, and Edge. A desktop version is also available. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Nimbus Screenshot to create annotated screen capture images.

Applications for Education
When explaining to students how to use a new tool it is often easier to show with them with a screen capture than it is to write out an explanation. An annotated screen capture can also be useful in highlight errors or highlighting good things in a students' work.