Chrome-Plated Activities

Do you have any suggestions on how to use Chromebooks in middle school for more than just watching videos and reviewing material?
—A., Indiana

 

The real power of computer technology for a science classroom is in graphics, communication, calculations, creativity, and interactivity. Simulations like those at https://phet.colorado.edu/ allow you to augment lessons that would otherwise be impossible to perform in class. They differ from videos in that the students can actively participate by manipulating variables.

An excellent teaching tool is for students to script, record, and edit their own videos which can take the form of mini-documentaries, animations, public service announcements, science shows, music videos, and so on. There are many free video-editing options available.
Communicate electronically or via print by creating presentations, wikis, blogs, brochures, posters, and comics. A very powerful way to learn something is to teach, so buddy up with a lower grade and have students create picture books or graphic novels for them.

There are many citizen science initiatives in which your class can participate and a wealth of online data that your class can download for their studies. There are online telescopes and real-time webcams that you can access to bring astronomy, ecology, and biology right to your students’ devices. You can make science investigations real and exciting by collaborating with classrooms almost anywhere in the world.

Chromebooks can also be used as scientific devices and data-loggers by attaching probes, digital microscopes, and cameras.

Hope this helps!

 

Image by ottogarcia on Pixabay

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