Where did the year go? Socratica in 2019

I was about to make a Happy New Year post, when I noticed the last real post I made was for the New Year, January 2019. Where has the year gone? In a word: PROJECTS.

2019 was the year of 3 major projects for Socratica: SQL, VR180, and Python Kickstarter. 

SQL

We were tapped by the YouTube Learning Initiative to create a “Learning Playlist” about SQL – Structured Query Language. The Learning Initiative was a major undertaking by YouTube to create a new way for people to interact with educational videos. This new system allows you to subscribe to a learning playlist (as opposed to a channel). YouTube presents these videos in a distraction-free environment, and keeps track of your progress. We hope YouTube continues developing ideas like these to help educational creators and viewers who want to learn!

Introduction to SQL (Computer Science)

 

VR180

VR has finally gone mainstream, with the arrival of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, etc. But while there are a number of Virtual Reality games available, VR content on YouTube remains sparse. Socratica was once again chosen by YouTube to represent educational creators on their platform as part of their VR Creator Lab. We were invited to attend a special hands-on course with ten creators, including Patrick Starr, Big Cat Rescue, Invisible People, the LA Times, and Titanic Sinclair/ Poppy.

We learned how to use a special VR180 camera, which captures a 180-degree hemisphere in 3 dimensions. Filming like this poses special challenges, including deciding how close to stand to the camera (not as close as you’re used to, or it feels scaryclose!), how to move it (very carefully), and how to enhance the 3D experience. Then we learned how hard it was to work with 8K files! Our poor computers got a real workout. As a result of this project, we also learned about how to use render farms.

We made 3 videos to explain how VR works (we are an educational channel, after all) – The Science of VR, The Math of VR, and The Tech of VR.  Then, as a bonus fun (but also highly educational) reward, we made a VR180 Tour of the Solar System.

 

 

 

 

 

PYTHON KICKSTARTER

Our last major project of the year involved you, all of our Socratica Friends. We took stock of the progress on our channel, and also all of your comments and requests. Our most popular playlist was Python, but we had only made about 30 videos over the course of 5 years. You kept asking for more, but we just didn’t have the resources to make them any faster. So we decided to ask you for help!

Working on the SQL project and the VR180 videos allowed us to see just how much we could get done when we had reasonable funding and a chunk of time set aside. We drew up a careful budget and asked if you would like to support us making 20 Python videos in 2020. And you said yes!  Our Kickstarter was successful. We begin production in January. That is…NOW!!

We’ll be writing, filming, and editing Python for the next several months, thanks to your support. We can’t thank you enough. Soon we’ll have our new Python videos to share with you. In the meantime, here’s our Python Playlist:

 

Happy New Year, Socratica Friends.  

KHH

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Socratica Dialogue is here!

We’re happy to announce the launch of a new Socratica Publication!

Socratica Dialogue:

Dialogue issue 1 masthead

It’s a monthly newsletter available exclusively to our patrons on Patreon. You get it with your $10 and up monthly support of Socratica. It’s where we collect the most interesting tidbits of ideas we’re mulling over during the month. What are we reading? Where did we go? What are we working on at Socratica? We figured it’s something that our most dedicated fans would be interested in…that’s why it’s part of our Patreon.

We named it Dialogue for two reasons – first, as a play on “Socratic Dialogue” because we just can’t help ourselves. But also to tell our viewers that we’d love to open a dialogue with them – to let them know more about ourselves and our process.

If you value the work we do, and would like to support our efforts to make the most beautiful educational videos free for everyone on YouTube, please consider becoming our Patron.  Even the smallest donation makes a big difference to us. Thank you!

KHH

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How to Take Cornell Notes for Middle School Science

We recently received a question from one of our viewers, Tracie Parks, about our Cornell Notes video:

Cornell notes question

 

Tracie found our video about how to take notes helpful, especially because it shows HOW someone would take notes during a lecture, using a specific lecture!  This video features one of our videos about the History of the Atom as an example.

We’re so glad to hear that Tracie is sharing our Study Tips Series with her 6th grader! That’s really the perfect time to foster those skills.  It takes years to be a Great Student, and Middle School is when most kids start to be challenged to do more in school. They start to take notes in class, read books for information that will be tested on, and write papers.  These are the kinds of skills we want to help people with with our Study Tips.

Tracie was hoping we had an example that was a little more accessible to her middle schooler.  We do have a series of science videos that are perfect for middle-schoolers.  This series is all about those questions that pop up but you’re not sure of the answer – Why is the sky blue? Why is the ocean salty?  Here’s a video about Why Leaves Change Colour in the Autumn:

 

Now let’s show you how we would take notes for this video.  First, we’d prepare our paper (or buy paper already prepared for Cornell Notes), drawing lines for a big Notes section, a smaller Cues section on the left, and a Summary section on the bottom:

IMG_20170630_102828

Then when we start our lecture, we’d take quick notes on the major points, making sure to write down key terms like the names of the pigments. After the lecture, we’d check on the spelling of these terms to make sure they are correct in our notes.

IMG_20170630_112121

Notice there’s a lot of space between the different sections. That way, when we review our notes later, there’s room to add anything we missed.  The little headings in the Cues section helps organize the different ideas.

IMG_20170630_115105

Finally, after the lecture is over, we’ll re-read our notes (maybe check them with a friend or with the textbook), and then we’ll write a brief Summary.

IMG_20170630_113542

 

Tracie, have your 6th grader watch this video series and take notes, as practice. Remember you don’t have to write down every word!  Just the key ideas. Use abbreviations when you can. 

One BIG advantage of watching videos is that you can pause, rewind, or even watch the whole thing over again if you didn’t understand it the first time. And you can post questions in the comments!

Thanks so much for sending in your question. We’re absolutely thrilled to think we are helping someone on the beginning of their journey to be a GREAT Student!! 

KHH

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We recommend:

Cornell Notes style filler paper on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dC9bUR

Cornell Notes spiral notebook:  http://amzn.to/2usl3ip

Tomato Timer (use this for the Pomodoro Technique): http://amzn.to/2pMQhyA

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy): http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
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To support more videos from Socratica, visit

Socratica Patreon
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Socratica Paypal
https://www.paypal.me/socratica

We also accept Bitcoin! 🙂
Our address is: 1EttYyGwJmpy9bLY2UcmEqMJuBfaZ1HdG9

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SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

Grey hoodie here:
http://www.cafepress.com/socraticastudios.1636726761

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
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Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
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Learn the Alphabet FREE app:
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Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store:
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Periodic Table App on Google Play
http://bit.ly/1hM8NCk

Socratica Patreon
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morphpen: https://www.morphpen.com/collections/3d-drawing-morph-pen-collection/products/blue-3d-printing-pen