If you grew up in the 90’s like I did, you obviously remember a well known scientist by the name of Bill Nye the Science Guy whose show, experiments and catch phrase “It’s not magic, it’s science” got you intrigued and excited about learning, especially about science.
Bill Nye has a new project in the works, he’s teamed up with “social teaching and learning network”, Sophia.org a site where hundreds of educators lend their expertise in order to aid students in need of extra help or interested in learning a new subject. Bill joined me recently to discuss the educational social network, and perform a science experiment for us!
Candace Rose: Many kids rely on the internet for homework and school projects. How can parents and teachers feel good about providing them with online tools that are credible, safe and easy to use?
Bill Nye The Science Guy: “Sophia.org is a website where 25,000 videos by hundreds of educators. So, go there as a student and you want to learn algebra? You can watch a tutorial about algebra. You don’t like the way that teacher does it, you can go to another teacher and a teacher after that – there’s 25,000. So that’s math, science, biology, physics, chemistry, history – all that sort of thing is on there.
This stuff is high quality, it’s been fenced off. It’s reliable and safe. There are no commercials, and the big idea is to flip the classroom. Instead of going to class and sitting through a lecture and trying to absorb it, and then going home and trying to figure it out; instead you watch the video before you watch the teacher standing and talking, and then you go to class and interact with the teacher. 85% of the teachers who have tried this say it works, student performance goes up, their academic performance increases so this is the future because these kids today, Candace spend seven hours looking at screens like this one right here. And at seven hours a day, we’ve got to meet them where they are, that’s the idea of Sophia.org.”
Candace Rose: How important is it to offer kids options when it comes to schoolwork?
Bill Nye The Science Guy: “Well, the whole thing is people learn in different ways and different speeds, and so students, kids respond to different teachers in different ways. So with this setup you can find a teacher that you like, that you respond to and click on it.
Candace Rose: Bill, I hear you have an experiment for us today….
(Be sure to scroll back up to the top and watch the video to see Bill the Science Guy’s experiment! FYI, it’s not magic, it’s SCIENCE!) =)
Candace Rose: And I also heard you’re going to visit a school!
Bill Nye The Science Guy: “Yes, we’re going to go to a school with 30 iPads, and I’m not bringing any of them back with me. We’re leaving them at the school so get your class and your teacher to participate on Sophia.org. There will be a drawing, I may come to your school and do a bunch of science demonstrations and leave you some cool handheld devices – some iPads with which you can visit Sophia.org or Planetary.com or BillNye.com and make discoveries for yourself, it’s the future.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Bill Nye The Science Guy: “The big thing is this is flipping the classroom, so you do the lecture part of your learning at home or at your leisure with your handheld device/phone or computer and then when you go to school you get a much better interaction with the teacher. And you’ve got to respect the facts – 85% of the teachers that use it say it works great.”