The University of Nottingham’s Periodic Table of Videos is a genius idea – one that I wish I had come up with myself. I’d really like to recommend the site to teachers because short videos of those elements you can’t show in class would be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, due to the varying quality of the videos, the site fails to live up to its potential. The idea of inter-cutting footage of demonstrations with a scientist talking about the element just doesn’t work in a lot of the videos; I would… Read more The Periodic Table of Videos: a great idea ruined by poor execution →
If you’re a science teacher, you’ll probably have to teach separation techniques to at least one class at some point in the year. I’m sure you’ll have taught the arts of filtering, distillation and chromatography endless times, but here’s a separation technique I’ll bet you’ve never seen – and one that will make an excellent short demonstration in class when teaching this topic: This wonderful little film was made by Dr Jim Caryl.
There has been lots written on the benefits of using video for teaching science, much of which seems to make the same couple of points animations and other forms of visualization can help get across difficult concepts such as the behaviour of particles or cells we can use videos to show experiments and demonstrations that we couldn’t otherwise do. My own view is that, where possible, we should use videos to supplement rather than replace live demonstrations. However, most science teachers will have had the horrible experience of a demonstration… Read more Free Science Videos →
I set up howscience.co.uk a couple of weeks ago to encourage people to take part in the QCA’s (poorly advertised) consultation on new criteria for GCSE Science. Thanks to a post on the Guardian Science Blog and a plug from Ben Goldacre, contributions to the site have been coming in slowly but steadily. A woman at the QCA promised “to look” at the responses I collect at howscience.co.uk… but I was given the clear impression that she would not be paying any serious attention to anything but responses to the… Read more How should we teach Science? →