Why you should go to Summer School

School’s out for summer.

hammock-on-palm-trees_fy8JO-Cu.jpg

Wanted: one hammock. 

But that doesn’t mean you should turn your brain off!
In our latest Study Tips video, we give you (at least) 5 good reasons why you should go to Summer School:


 

Summer gives us the unique opportunity to learn anything we want, in a leisurely, indulgent fashion. Always wanted to learn computer programming? Try our Python Series!

Maybe you always thought Calculus was beyond you. Watch this video and tell me this beautiful branch of math doesn’t beckon to you:

Go on. Even if you don’t go to a summer school class, you can find something to keep your curiosity alive.
KHH

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We recommend:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
http://amzn.to/2ri1nf7

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer)
http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Shop Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
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SERIES PREMIERE: BIOLOGY

 

We’re launching a new series on Socratica! Today we released our first video about Biology. 

We’re starting with that most important molecule, DNA.  DNA provides all the instructions an organism needs to develop, survive, and reproduce.

Before you can really appreciate how DNA works to do all these vital tasks, you must understand the structure of DNA. That’s why we’re starting with this video!

We had a secret weapon for making this video. We knew we wanted to build a model of DNA, but we didn’t want to just buy a kit that snaps together. Honestly – that’s just too easy. It’s all too easy to snap the pieces together without really digesting what you just built.

Our special tool?  A 3D Printing Pen!

MorphPen was kind enough to send a 3D printing pen to Socratica for us to try.  It’s like nothing else we’ve ever tried before. Sort of like an incredibly pliant, quick-drying clay that goes right where you want it to. We can make 3D sculptures! 

giphy

We’ve always known how vital it is to draw something, if you want to really understand its shape. Think of all those maps you drew as a child.

But to be able to draw in 3D is a game-changer!

If you’d like to #trymorphpen yourself, here’s a link:

Thanks for checking out our new series! Let us know in the comments what you think! 

KHH

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SERIES PREMIERE: CALCULUS

Socratica has just started a new math series on Calculus.

Our first episode is an overview, called  What is Calculus :

This series stars our co-founder, Michael Lee Harrison.  Michael is a mathematician, who has a lot of valuable experience under his belt.  He got his BS in math at Caltech, and continued his studies at UC Berkeley and University of Washington . He holds an MS in math from UW and is ABD on his PhD…we’ll see if we can round up some more abbreviations for our next profile!

Michael taught math at the college level for several years, where he was a good-humoured and encouraging instructor.  He next went into finance, working as a “quant” (quantitative analyst).  He then worked at Google as a developer for five years before leaving to start Socratica.

You’ve seen Michael’s work on Socratica for years now, but this is the VERY FIRST TIME he has stepped in front of the camera.  More to come soon!

KHH

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SERIES PREMIERE – Study Tips – How to be a Great Student – Cornell Notes

This is the FIRST EPISODE of our new series on How to Be a Great Student! In this episode, we learn about the CORNELL METHOD.

 

This is a great method for taking notes in class (or from your textbook, or watching a video). There’s no way to remember every word of a lecture. But taking great lecture notes is the first step to getting good grades and being a great student.

The most important rule is don’t write down every word. Listen carefully, then write simplified and abbreviated phrases that capture the main ideas.

When you get home, RE-READ your notes! Proofread them, making corrections as needed before you forget. Check your notes with a friend! In the margin, write brief headers that will cue your memory of each section of your notes.

Finally, write a summary at the bottom of the page so you can quickly tell what this page of notes is all about.

Do you have a different method of taking notes? Let us know what are your favourite study tips in the comments!

KHH

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And please share with all your friends. They deserve to be great students, too!

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If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
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Related:

Are you curious about how we filmed these videos?  Check out our episode of Socratica Backstage about this video shoot:  Socratica Backstage: Overhead Mirrored Shots

Watch the trailer for our Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student series

 

Socratica Backstage: Behind the Scenes look at Mirrored Overhead Shots

We’re launching a new series on Socratica called “Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student.” An essential part of the videos in this series will be overhead B Roll and Insert Shots, to demonstrate things like how to take notes, how to use flashcards, etc.

overhead camera rig

Where do you put this thing when you’re not using it?

Many people use a large frame and suspend a camera overhead in order to do overhead shots. It’s one thing if you’re using a GoPro, but this isn’t something you really want to do with a larger camera with a nice lens. Other drawbacks include the amount of space an overhead frame takes up, and the fact that the camera is not easily accessible. You can’t zoom in during a shot unless you have a sophisticated remote control setup. You can’t easily move the camera from its fixed position, which limits the kind of filmmaking you can do (no pans, tilts, or slider shots).

Today on Socratica Backstage, you can watch how we mounted a large mirror in order to do better overhead shots. We immediately put it to use, filming B Roll and Insert shots for our first video in the Study Tips series, “How to Take Great Notes.”

 

We release our Backstage Videos early to our Patreon Supporters.  Thank you for being our super-fans!  Your support means so much to us.

If you are not yet a supporter of Socratica, please visit our Patreon Page and consider joining our team. You’ll be supporting our efforts to make more high-quality educational videos. Thank you!
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Don’t forget to Subscribe to Socratica!
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KHH

 

 

Our Fab Music Videos with Kat McDowell

You hear a lot of advice as a small YouTube channel.  Make more videos!  Tweet every day!  Shareability!  Longer videos!  Likes! Annotations!  Ask them to Subscribe!

But the big piece of advice we never took was: COLLABORATE. 

rising tide lifts all ships

A rising tide lifts all ships, the saying goes, and the idea is that if your channel can help out another, you should do it.  And don’t worry about contacting a channel with more subscribers than you – you could be bringing in a brand-new audience to the bigger channel.  Everyone wins.

It’s easier said than done, of course.  We’ve tried to pull of collaborations before, but something always got in the way:  schedule conflicts, too big of a difference in style, lack of funds.

But this year, with the help of the YouTube NextUp program, we finally did it.  We made two videos with our friend Kat McDowell – one for her channel, and one for ours!

This time, everything went right, the stars aligned, and the fates smiled on us.  We met Kat at an event at YouTube Space LA, and we recognized her from one of our favourite music videos – her cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She’s a singer-songwriter from Japan and New Zealand, who makes “positive surf-pop” that will bring a smile to your face.

We knew we wanted to collaborate with Kat, but it was just a matter of finding a time and place to make it happen. Amazingly, we were both selected to take part in the YouTube NextUp program!  This meant we were in the same place at the same time for an entire week, with beautiful filming studios and tons of equipment at our disposal.

SUCCESS!

We hope you enjoy the videos as much as we enjoyed making them.

Here’s the video about Musical Harmony we made for our channel:

 

And here’s the music video “Human” we made for Kat’s channel:

 

 

Remember to tell your friends about Socratica Studios, and encourage them to try our videos and subscribe!

KHH

Subscribe to Socratica Studios

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Support Socratica on Patreon

Don’t forget to check out Kat McDowell’s channel  for more beautiful music! 

 

 

Related Post:

Game Changer: YouTube NextUp

Our YouTube NextUp Classmates

 

Game Changer: YouTube NextUp

A miracle occurred at Socratica Studios last month. Actually, it happened in Playa Vista, which is about an hour east of Socratica Studios.

Playa Vista is the location of YouTube Space LA (YTSLA).  We spent an entire week there, because Socratica was chosen to be in the 2016 class of YouTube NextUp.

YTSLA blue sky

What is YouTube NextUp?  It’s a program run by YouTube to identify and support promising up-and-coming YouTube channels.  Hundreds of YouTube channels applied, and 16 of us were brought to YTSLA for an intensive week-long course in filmmaking and growing your channel. Each channel had an experienced mentor,  and we worked all week with experts in the fields of cinematography, lighting, sound design, set design, greenscreen work, etc. etc.

It’s sort of like finding the golden ticket and being adopted by Willy Wonka.

willy-wonka-golden-ticket

 

Previous winners include ASAP Science (we’re big fans), Ingrid Nilsen, and Cassey Ho (who we actually got to meet and hear about her experience).   So many of them are now well over a million subscribers. It really seems like this is a turning point for the channels in the program.

One of the best things about the NextUp was getting to meet and work with other YouTube creators.  Working by yourself can be a kind of an echo-chamber, where you ask yourself, “Self, is this a good idea?” and you answer, “of course it is!” and you don’t question it. You always do things your way, in your comfort zone.  Watching the other creators work and helping them with their shoots was an incredible education in how many ways you can go about getting great videos.

Our 2016 Class of YouTube NextUp:

YTNextUpClassof2016

Next time, I’ll include videos from my classmates and tell you more about their channels.

Remember to tell your friends about Socratica Studios, and encourage them to try our videos and subscribe!

KHH

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The Return of our Visit the 50 States Playlist – Massachusetts

Due to popular demand, here is the first of six new states videos we filmed recently. We worked with a new talented presenter, Dylan Rourke.

We invite you to visit the great state of Massachusetts!

Massachusetts, nicknamed “The Bay State,” became the 6th state on February 6th, 1788. It is a state rich in history – the site of many key events in the Revolutionary War. Massachusetts is home to more than 180 colleges and institutions of higher learning (including Harvard, oldest in the nation). Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island are also popular tourist destinations for the scenic shoreline and delicious seafood.

Our series of videos “Visit the 50 States,” gives you a little history and interesting facts about each state. For every state, you’ll learn when it entered the Union, what’s its motto, how did it get its nickname, and see what the flag, seal, and state capitol building all look like. We’ll find the state capital on the map! There’s also fun trivia – do you know the state tree, flower, and bird? Watch and find out!

These videos are perfect for middle-school and up.

Stay tuned for Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana!

KHH

Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store.

And don’t forget to Subscribe to Socratica Studios on YouTube!

Chemistry Lessons: pH

We have a new video in our ongoing Chemistry playlist on YouTube!

Chemistry students all learn to calculate pH.  They know it has something to do with acids, and bases, and they probably get the chance to play with litmus paper or make an indicator out of red cabbage.

Litmus-Test

Red for acid, blue for base.

But do they really know what it means?

Here’s our latest video to help students not just calculate pH, but understand what it means:

Don’t miss the ending. The pH of everyday substances is revealed!

KHH

#LearnMore

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You may also like our Periodic Table app. It’s FREE on the Google Play Store!

We recommend:

litmus paper

Litmus Paper Test strips for testing at home (pH 1-14)

For COSMOS lovers: What are neutron stars?

All of us at Socratica grew up watching Carl Sagan and his groundbreaking series Cosmos.  Most people think of it as a series on astronomy, but it was really more about our place in the universe as thinking, exploring creatures looking to understand who we are and how did we get here.

When I taught biology, I regularly showed Sagan’s episode about evolution as an introduction to the topic. My students would laugh about his pronunciation of “yooman” and his odd speech patterns with unexpected….PAUSES. But by the end of the episode, they were completely won over and wanted to see more of this fascinating man.

Sagan and his tree

This line always got a big laugh.

Carl Sagan’s enthusiasm and broad knowledge of so many subjects made us want to learn almost everything from him. The work we do at Socratica is maybe best considered an homage to great teachers like Sagan.  There’s no way we could ever capture his special sauce – but we do get inspiration from his candor, his love for teaching, and his quest to know.

We’re over the moon to start a new playlist on Astronomy. Our first video:  What are Neutron Stars?

 

Over the moon, see what I did there? I crack myself up sometimes.

 

We recommend, obviously:

 

Cosmos DVDs

Cosmos: Carl Sagan
This is the 13-hour set of DVDs – one of the best programs in television history.

 

 

Cosmosbookcover

Cosmos

And this is the companion book with a new foreward by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

 

KHH

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