How to Work From Home

Learning all about this the hard way!

First, it must be understood that we don’t know what we’re doing. Nothing wonderful can come from this unless this is made perfectly clear.

Are you working from home? We are. Or we’re trying to.

Because of the Covid Pandemic, we can’t film together in studio. So we’re finding things to work on that we can do solo, like our website Socratica.com and our new podcast Socratica Reads.

We’re also doing our best to keep our spirits up by watching movies, reading books, playing games, and doing a little creative cooking.

Liliana and I made this video via video chat so you could get an idea of how we’re handling this very strange time.

Stay well, Socratica Friends!

KHH

Easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

Socratica Quarantines with Met Opera

We’re under quarantine here in California, due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. That means we can’t film at Socratica, at least for the time being.

So how are we spending our time? We’re still writing scripts and editing videos. But we’re also taking time for cultural enrichment, thanks to a generous gift from the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The Met is streaming an opera every day, for free. 

We’ve always loved opera here at Socratica.

Believe it or not, when I was a kid, most of grownups in my life loved and embraced opera. It wasn’t thought of as some kind of elite art form, only for the wealthy. It was easy to understand even as a kid, often bawdy and over-the-top. It was digested into simple acts, with well-known stories and musical themes. I defy anyone to watch “Marriage of Figaro” and say it is inaccessible.

But as I entered adulthood in the 90s, something started to change. People started to think opera was something fancy.  Was it because of “Pretty Woman?”  A wealthy man takes a prostitute to the opera and opens her eyes to refined culture. I prefer the depiction in Moonstruck – we see an everyman who lives for the opera.

Moonstruck love opera

Ticket prices started to rise uncomfortably. I still got to go to the opera a lot because when I was in grad school, Princeton would give poor grad students FREE tickets and a FREE ride to the glorious opera house in New York City, the Met. I saw everything they did for five years.

Met opera at night

 

But when I moved back to LA in 2003, by then, ticket prices were out of control. Even with two of us working good jobs, we couldn’t, in good conscience, spend a couple of hundred dollars on two hours’ of entertainment. That’s more than two week’s groceries in our house.

Thankfully, the Met started streaming HD recordings of their operas. You can rent a gorgeous production for $5. They’re beautifully made videos –  it’s like the best seat in the house, complete with subtitles.  It’s really a wonderful resource. And now, during the pandemic, they’re making one of their operas free to stream each day. Thank you, sincerely. What a lovely, lovely gift.

If you’re hesitant – you don’t think opera is for you – we have a gift for you, too. When we first started our channel, we made a playlist to give an introduction to this incredible art form.

 

 

You can tell these are some of our earliest videos!  The lighting is crazy hot (we were using powerful ARRI Fresnel lights). We were just learning how to edit using Adobe Premiere.  But I look back on these early videos with great affection.

Our playlist of opera terms is here: https://bit.ly/SocraticaOpera

Opera is for everyone!

KHH

Easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

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

Socratica Patreon

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Shop on Amazon

 

 

 

Socratica is now an Amazon Influencer

Socratica doesn’t have any beauty recommendations for you. 

Beauty-influencer-zoella-youtube-10-13-17

It’s fun, we just don’t have anything to contribute here.

 

And we don’t do Follow Me pictures.  We’re mostly sitting at our desks, working. 

follow me field

Kudos to Murad Osmann for popularizing this new style of photo.

 

But we can recommend great books ALL DAY LONG.

 

cornell library

THIS we can do!

 

I thought “Influencer” was a term only used for YouTube vloggers and the beautiful people on Instagram.  I’m happy to learn I was wrong!

Amazon has opened the doors of its Influencer Program to a wide variety of YouTube channels. This is an opportunity for these channels to share their favourite products, and for all of us to buy from their storefronts as a way to support these channels. The creators receive a small percentage of every purchase made through the links on their storefronts.

And now… Socratica is an Amazon Influencer. Did not think this was going to happen. But here it is, our new storefront:

 

Some clear pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Easy to Use – I got this up and running in under 5 minutes.
  • Easy to Update
  • Includes pictures of items

CONS:

  • Not customizable – we’d love to break this into sections (Math, Chemistry, Film Equipment)
  • No place to write blurbs. Let us say WHY we’re recommending a product.

 

I’m all for exploring alternate revenue streams, since YouTube ad revenue is not nearly enough to support a business.  So we set up our shop, and we’ll start sharing the link, and we’ll see what happens.  Let us know what you think (or if you have any other ideas to fund our scicomm work at Socratica).

Please share this link with your friends!   https://www.amazon.com/shop/socratica

KHH

Subscribe to our Socratica YouTube channel here

FREE Socratica Apps on the Google Play Store

Send Socratica to SXSW EDU!

Socratica might go to SXSW EDU…with your help!

sxsweduspeaker

SXSW (“South by Southwest” or just “SouthBy”)  is a HUGE conference held every year in Austin, TX. You may be more familiar with the arts side of the conference, but did you know there’s an education component? It’s called SXSWEDU, attended by thousands of teachers and administrators.

sxsw talk picture

Socratica has applied to give talks there in 2018 – but it really depends on our panel ideas getting “upvoted.” That’s where you come in!

votenow

You can register and vote for panels for free, no obligation. This is a way for the organizers to gauge interest. We’d love for you to show your support for Socratica, so we can share our channel and our experiences with thousands of educators.

Kim is proposing a Case Study of the pathways to becoming an online educator. She and two fellow EduTubers will be discussing their journeys from Scientist, to Teacher, to YouTuber.  Her panel is here: Scientist-Teacher-YouTuber: Paths to Online Edu

Michael is proposing a Workshop about how to make higher quality educational videos. He’ll be running the workshop with two other EduTubers who make great looking videos without spending a ton of money. His panel is here: Taking Your Educational Videos to the Next Level

You can see our founders at SXSWEDU in 2018! Please register (free) & vote!

After you register, it’s easy to get lost in the website. You can click these links to go directly to our panels to vote for them!  And please upvote other panels that look interesting to you. You don’t have to attend, but if you do, we’ll see you there!

Kim: http://bit.ly/2ujW2tW
Michael: http://bit.ly/2vgeCST

Here are the instructions from SXSWEDU:

On Monday, August 7, the greater online community is invited to vote and share its input on your session idea through Friday, August 25. The community’s input will amount to 30% of the total score for your proposal. Your proposal will also be evaluated by the SXSW EDU Advisory Board (40%) and SXSW EDU staff (30%) during this time.

The community will have the opportunity to “Vote Up” or “Vote Down” on all session ideas (votes will be kept private) and add comments to each page. We encourage you to use this commenting feature to expand on your session idea, make notes of any updates or changes and even engage with the voting community.

Anyone with internet access can cast a single vote for as many proposals as they would like upon creating a PanelPicker account.

We really appreciate your helping to send us to this conference!  It’s a great opportunity to meet other educators and let more people know about the work we do at Socratica.  Every bit of awareness helps our channel stay in business.  Hope we see you next year in Austin! THANK YOU!

KHH

PS You’re Subscribed to Socratica, right?

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!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

 

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To support more videos from Socratica, visit

Socratica Patreon
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

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Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

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

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!

http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

We’d love you to join our team on Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

 

 

 

Our secret ingredient: Dog clickers

At Socratica Studios, we record our voice-overs with the aid of a secret weapon.

DOG CLICKERS. 

I recently had the chance to try this product from pet’s mum:

dog whistle bundle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017RYDHG0

They sent it to me free in return for my honest review (FTC disclosure).

Well, I tried it and it sort of worked.  The clicker worked, no problem.  But the dog whistle I could actually hear with my own ears.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to work that way. We’re tossing the dog whistle.  I think it’s probably mis-aligned, because I twisted it lots of different ways and it still made a whistling sound that I could hear.  The dog was nonplussed.

The clicker, on the other hand, is a keeper for sure.  Oh, it works fine for dog training.  But it REALLY works for recording voice-overs.

When we do VO work, of course we sometimes stumble.  We edit out all those mistakes before we put together the visuals to make the final video.  That can be tedious, listening carefully for mistakes and watching the waveforms to see exactly where the mistakes are.

So we use a dog clicker!

Dog Clicker visual

See the nice clean mark?  That’s me messing up. 

It makes a nice clean mark on the audio recording.  Hey presto – quick audio edit.

And this clicker comes on a cute little wristlet! No more losing them all over the house.

KHH

Here’s our latest example of a screencast with voiceover:  Significant Figures. 

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

Learn the Alphabet FREE app:
http://bit.ly/1V5wKDs

Try our 50 States Android App – it’s FREE on the Google Play Store:
http://bit.ly/1MVxMB4

Periodic Table App on Google Play
http://bit.ly/1hM8NCk

Socratica Patreon
http://bit.ly/29gJAyg

#dogwhistledogclickerdogtrainingclicker