Where it all began…

Blogs… hmm.

I’ve ignored this space for a while now. But everyone is doing it! I’m going to have a go. Will it be worthwhile? I guess time will tell.

I’ll begin with a video that started me on an amazing journey:

I can clearly remember the first time I watched this TED Talk. My Dad, a retired science teacher, had seen it and showed it to me. I loved it. It really struck a chord with me. If you are a science teacher then check it out.

So after watching the video, I Googled this guy – Tyler DeWitt. Turns out he has produced hundreds of Chemistry video lessons and published them on YouTube. They were really good. I watched an interview where he talks about his experience in making video lesson content and ‘the flipped classroom’. I was hooked.

I made my first video lesson in May 2013. This is it:

I was a little clumsy in the beginning but I got better. I made them for my Year 12 Biology students. They really liked them and their results were improving, so I kept going. Publishing to YouTube is really great because it is not just my students who benefit. In fact now most of my views are coming from outside of Australia. Places like America, England and India. It is really cool.

This video has had almost 9000 views… Crazy!

The best was yet to come though. I was really lucky last year to be named a joint winner of the Early Career STEM Educator of the Year at the SA Science Excellence Awards. This was most certainly the highlight of my career so far and a night I will never forget. My use of the flipped classroom approach played a major part in my success.

After winning, I managed to make contact with Tyler DeWitt in America. He had just started the website http://www.socratic.org with a group of friends. This website is really cool. A place where students can go and find video lesson content from teachers all over the world. They had started with Chemistry and Physics. I got involved and helped to establish a Biology topic list. My videos are now starting to pop up here.

And so we get to now. Winning the award last year has enabled me to head to New York in July to meet the Socratic team. I am very excited. No doubt a future blog post will tell the story of this visit.

So there you go, I wrote a blog. Not so bad I guess. I could have been marking though! Haha.

How do you finish a blog? Do I need some sort of tag line? I’ll work on that I think.

Until then.. Have a good one.



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