Have your classes gone online? Because of the Covid19 pandemic, schools around the world are shutting down and sending their students home.
That’s not to say that education is coming to a halt. Most schools are scrambling to put classes online.
For many students AND teachers, this is their first experience with distance learning. It’s kind of a meta experience, in some sense – everyone has to learn HOW to learn in this way.
We’ve signed up for a few online classes over the years, but honestly, we’ve never actually completed a whole course this way. Did you know that the completion rate for online courses hovers around THREE PERCENT?
We put our minds to it and gathered all the best advice we could to put in this video. We were actually planning on releasing it in August/September, for the start of the school year, but we thought it might help people more now. Share it with all the teachers and students you know!
How to Take Online Classes
Stay home and stay safe, Socratica Friends!
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I’ve been writing and editing and producing videos for Socratica for a little over a year now. That’s been all behind-the-scenes work. It’s been gratifying to see my ideas take form and finally appear as a finished little movie on YouTube. Every now and then, however, I think maybe I have been a little too behind the scenes. We get comments on our videos sometimes – that are being performed by actors – “You’re so smart! How do you know all these things?” Errmmm. Our actors are very bright and thoughtful people, but it is a bit of an ego blow to think that the audience doesn’t realize there is a whole production team writing and editing that material for our actors to perform. I guess I know how most screenwriters feel. When was the last time someone fawned over the brilliant minds behind our most beloved movies? We give all of the attention to the faces on the big screen.
Not that I want to be signing autographs or anything. I think, for instance, that the cult of ego is taken to the extreme in some cases on online personalities. Look at Sal Khan, for instance, who Bill Gates called “the best teacher I’ve ever seen.” I guess he doesn’t know many teachers. That’s what happens when someone becomes an online celebrity instead of – well, instead of what I’m trying to be – a maker of beautiful, quality educational materials. It’s really okay if people don’t know my name, as long as they have found the best videos that help them learn.
This week, I made my first attempt at a screencast video, on one of the most common problems for chemistry students, “balancing chemical equations.” In this video, I work through 5 examples using the “inspection” or “trial-and-error” method. In a follow-up video, I’ll demonstrate solving the same examples using the algebraic method.
My latest foray into educational videos is still somewhat anonymous – I won’t appear in these screencast videos except for my voice. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually show my face in a video. And then WATCH OUT WORLD!
A year ago, I left classroom teaching and focused my attentions on creating content for Socratica Studios, a company started by Michael Harrison (my tall dark and handsome husband). We’ve been making “green screen” videos out of our own studio – on a variety of subjects (math, chemistry, art, opera, etc.) and in a variety of different languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese). We are dedicated to making beautiful, high-quality learning materials available to everyone. This is an offshoot of our original venture, making educational phone apps.
Here’s our English YouTube channel:
Our other channels are
Socratica Português, and
And here are our phone apps in the Google Play store:
Socratica Phone Apps
Please subscribe, tell us what you think, and stay tuned for more developments!
Our Spanish actress Liliana De Castro in the studio
After a little work with Adobe Premiere and After Effects, Liliana is now in the French countryside, talking about art.