Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Unpoppable Bubbles - Another Fun Summer Science Lesson

Last week I shared a handful of resources for building solar ovens. The week before that I shared some at-home summer science lesson resources from Discovery and 3M. Today, I have another summer science lesson resource to share with you. 

Earlier this week SciShow Kids published a new video titled Unpoppable Bubbles. In the video they don't actually make unpoppable bubbles. Instead, they talk about how bubbles are made and propose some ideas for making bubble mixtures to test to see if it is possible to make an unpoppable bubble. 



Applications for Education
Trying to make an unpoppable bubble or at least experimenting with different bubble solutions could be a fun way for parents to introduce their children to some concepts like surface tension and viscosity. For a little more structured lesson centered around bubbles, take a look at the Bubble-ology lesson plan on the Science Buddies website. That's what I plan to loosely follow the next time I make bubbles with my kids this summer.

Five Things I Like About the New Chromebook Screencast Recorder

Last week Google introduced a new way to record screencasts on your Chromebook. You can watch my tutorial about how to use it right here or as embedded at the end of this blog post. After a week of using it, here are five things that I like about it and I think will be helpful to teachers and students going forward.  

Automatic Transcripts
All of the screencasts that you create with the Chrome OS screen recorder are automatically transcribed for you. Those transcripts are timestamped to make it easy to read through them and click to the corresponding section of your video. You can edit the transcripts to correct any errors. An example of an error that I always have to correct appears whenever I say my last name in a video. Byrne always appears as Burn in the automatically generated transcript.

Automatic Transcript Translation
When students view your video and its corresponding transcript they can choose to read the transcript in English or in another language of their choice. Jump to the 1:36 mark in this video to see how students can view translated transcripts of your screencast videos.

Autosave to Google Drive
As you would expect from a tool created by Google, all of the screencasts you create with the Chromebook screencast recorder are automatically saved in your Google Drive account. Like everything else in your Google Drive, you can quickly and easily share your videos with your students in Google Classroom.

Quick Launch
The Chrome OS screencast recorder launches faster than any of the browser-based screencasting tools that I've tried. This is probably due to the fact that the screencast recorder is part of the OS and not an external third-party service running in Chrome. You'll notice in my demo video that I didn't have select what I wanted to capture on my screen. That's different than every other screencasting tool I've used on Chromebooks. All of those other tools require you to specify if you want to record a tab, a window, or the whole screen before you start recording.

Drawing Tools
You'll notice that the Chrome OS screencast recorder doesn't have as many drawing options as some other screencasting tools. Initially, I was a little disappointed by that. But on further consideration, I realized that I don't actually use all of the drawing tools in those other screencasting tools anyway. And the limiting of drawing options probably helps to keep the Chrome OS screencast recorder running faster and smoother than if Google had tried to cram a bunch of features into the initial launch of the recorder.

Watch my video below to see how the new screencasting tool built into Chromebooks works.