How to Take Online Classes

Have your classes gone online? Because of the Covid19 pandemic, schools around the world are shutting down and sending their students home.

Sick woman

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.

Technology For Young Hispanic Woman Studying With Laptop Computer

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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10 Back to School Tips for Success

We all think of ourselves as eternal students here at Socratica.  That means we get a little thrill every September, even though we’re not in the classroom anymore.

happy fall

Between us, the Socratica team has a LOT of experience points – both as students and teachers – we’ve learned a lot about how to be do well in school. That collected wisdom is what we’re trying to share in our Study Tips series.

Here’s our latest offering – advice on how to make this school year a great one:

10 Back to School Tips for Success.


Don’t feel like you have to tackle all 10 tips at once. Try incorporating one or two, and see if it helps. Not everyone has the exact same strengths and weaknesses. But in our experience, these strategies won’t hurt and may actually mean the difference for you.  Give it a shot!

Good luck and be sure to use our videos for help this school year!


Links to our playlists on YouTube:

Abstract Algebra





English Grammar



Study Tips

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FAQ: Why are your videos so short?

We didn’t have multimedia presentations in school.  We didn’t watch movies in class, and there was nothing projected anywhere on any kind of a screen. I didn’t even see an overhead projector until my AP Biology class my junior year in high school – because up until that time, anything that my teachers wanted to show me, they would write, painstakingly, in chalk, on a chalkboard.  My biology class required the quick display of lots of complicated pictures and diagrams, and by the time those could have been drawn, class would have been over.  Hence, the use of the projector.

Overhead projector 3M 02

Things didn’t change much for me in college.  I went to Caltech in the 90s, where professors still loved to use chalk – I remember the mathematician Tom Apostol using ALL of the chalkboards and he remembered what was written on every one, pointing to them like an orchestra conductor – and one poor chemistry professor who needed to wear a glove when he wrote because of his chalk allergy.  It was really only in my Biology classes that I saw projected complicated images.   My professors used the available technology when it was needed – but most of the time, you might not be able to tell the difference between our classroom and one from the 1920s.  Well, except for all of us girls in class.

Welcome to Powerpoint on PowerPoint

Welcome to Powerpoint on PowerPoint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t until I was working in my first post-undergraduate job for a pharmaceutical company that I used PowerPoint in company presentations. I had charts, I had graphs, I had data to discuss – it made sense to be using PowerPoint.

By the time I started teaching, the game had changed.  There was an arms-race on in teaching – who could use the most technology in one lecture?  PowerPoint was the business, and all my lectures were PowerPoint-based.  My lecture notes were full of interesting and unusual visuals, and we used clickers to make the lectures interactive, but the next step was to include video.  OH MY GOD my students loved videos.

There was just one problem – there wasn’t much good video out there – a  few fuzzy recordings of teachers at a whiteboard. Plenty of pretty chemistry explosions: long on spectacle, short on substance. A few good molecular biology animations – behind a textbook paywall.

Later came the KhanAcademy recordings – unedited, full of mistakes, that ramble on sometimes for twenty minutes…if I used those, there would be no time for my own class.  And could I expect my students to watch them at home on their own time?  No way. My students groaned as if in actual pain if a video was ever 5 minutes long…3 minutes, maybe, they could handle.  It was the 30-45 second quick definition we really wanted. All the time, what was really holding my students back was – they couldn’t remember the difference between anion and cation.  Or what’s the definition of an acid or a base.  What we needed, basically, was a glossary, in a palatable form.

What I really wanted was a library of mini-videos I could plug into my lectures, or a nice set of short videos I could send to my students.  But there was nothing like that out there.

So I made them myself, with Socratica.

That’s why our videos are so short. There was a need for exactly that.

Don’t get me wrong.  We’re not stopping there.  We’ll make longer videos, for the students who need more, but we’ve started with these little nuggets first.   That’s why a lot of our videos have ” – a quick definition” in the title or description.

So subscribe to the Socratica YouTube channels, and stay tuned!


Here’s our English YouTube channel:

Socratica Studios

Our other channels are

Socratica Español,

Socratica Français,

Socratica Deutsch,

Socratica Русский,

Socratica Português, and

Socratica Kids.

And here are our phone apps in the Google Play store:

Socratica Phone Apps