Know an amazing teacher?

Who is the best science or math teacher you’ve ever had? Think they have what it takes to be a Socratic teacher? If so, fill out this Google form (takes about 1 minute) and I will send them the nomination!

This is a great opportunity to recognize your teacher’s excellent skills. You’ll also help the Socratic Community teach more students around the world!

Thank you!
Jackie
Community Lead at Socratic.org

Breaking things to fix them

Hey!

Socratic is a young and growing site. We believe the best way to build something great is by quickly putting things out there, learning from the process, and then improving upon each feature.

One consequence, however, is that we’ll break a few eggs in the process. As much as we try to catch each issue ourselves, we need your help to tell us when things have gone wrong.

I want to make sure you feel 100% comfortable reaching out to us about anything - whether it be about a suggested improvement or if you run into any technical issues on Socratic.

Please let us know when something isn’t right. We’ve added a new footer to every page on Socratic specifically for these reasons - never hesitate to use it, or to reach out to me directly.

I hope this makes teaching easier,
Jackie
Community Lead at Socratic.org

Pomodoro Technique

Hey! Have you ever tried the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a way to organize your time - typically in regard to developing strong work or study habits. Research has shown it’s quite effective!

There are few detailed principles, but the main idea: set out what you need to get done, work for 25 minutes, and take a 5 minute break. Repeat until you’re done! Before you start working, think about how many “pomodoros” (yum!) you’ll need to finish the task at hand. (FYI: It’s called the “Pomodoro Technique because the founder used a timer that looked like a tomato!)

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Check out the site for an overview video, and some hints on what to do during your 5 minute breaks. Hope this makes learning easier, Jackie Community Lead at Socratic.org

Hope this makes learning easier,
Jackie
Community Lead at Socratic.org

Photo Credit: fairhonanth via OpenClipArt cc

SMART Goals

Hey!

It’s the beginning of April, just 3 months after New Years’ Resolutions went into play.

I know many of us had resolutions like “I want to do better in math” or “I’m going to improve my science skills”. Having goals is important, but having good goals makes a huge difference on whether or not you actually follow through and achieve them.

One method that really helps me set better goals is the “SMART” goals system:

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To give an example, let’s say you want to “do better in Chemistry.”

A better goal would be: “By the end of this semester (time-bound), I am going to earn an A in Chemistry (specific). I will check in with my teacher on a weekly basis to get updates on my progress (measurable). I have two months to raise my grade from a B to an A (achievable).” This hypothetical person is a student taking chemistry, so the goal would be relevant.

Do you have any SMART goals you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear them! Send them over to jackie@socratic.org

Hope this makes learning easier,
— Jackie Shlecter, Community Lead at Socratic.org

SMART Content Credit Saint Consulting Group

Crowdteaching

Last week, Spin Education published a post called Crowdteaching: A Learning Revolution. The author, David Cutler, interviewed Tyler DeWitt on the concept of “Crowdteaching.”

Tyler defines it as “an evolving movement in which thousands upon thousands of educators, from all around the world, are uploading high quality educational content online—free of charge.

We’re proud to host a platform that freely shares knowledge, but we’re even prouder of the community that’s a part of it. They’re providing access to excellent quality content to anyone who wants to learn - for free.

If you have a few minutes, you should definitely check out the audio of Tyler’s interview (top of the post).

— Jackie Shlecter, Community Lead at Socratic.org

Making Answers Better Together

We’re trying out a new feature on our site, and I’d really like to hear what you think. You’ll now see an option to click “Answer needs improvement” . This button enables the community to mark answers that lack clear explanations, could be more comprehensive, or are inaccurate.

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The question will go back into the recent questions feed, and will be marked as “Needs Review”.Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 33531 PMpng

This way, answers that need work will resurface to the community for improvement. We think this will make collaboration easier for our community to create the best answers possible.

What do you think we can do to improve this new part of the site? Send an email to jackie@socratic.org with any thoughts.

Happy teaching,
Jackie
Community Lead at Socratic.org

Getting to Work!

When I was in college, one of my most effective study tips was to turn off my Internet connection so I wouldn’t be tempted to visit irrelevant sites. Reddit, Facebook, and Pinterest can be very distracting! Nowadays, however, students access YouTube for video tutorials, Socratic for Q&A (right, guys?!), and online lecture notes from teachers and professors.

Fortunately, I came across a couple of interesting apps recently called Cold Turkey (for Windows) and SelfControl (for Mac). They let you temporarily block websites that might distract you from getting work done or studying. Win! Have you ever tried them?

Hope this makes learning easier,
Jackie
Community Lead at Socratic.org

You’re really making a difference!

Want to see how much of a difference our contributors are making? Check out some fanmail we’ve received from students recently:

We encourage students to thank our contributors directly, but I’ve received some general “thanks” recently and I wanted to share a few of them with each of you:

I love the contributors on the website. It has become my first stop, even before YouTube. I hope it keeps expanding because I have a lot of Chem in my future.”

“I am a 14 years old (living in Mumbai, India). I love the teachers! I am very grateful to the Socratic community. Thank you for making science easy!

“I am a 56 year old college student, finishing my B.S. after thirty years. Contributors on your site have a huge amount of information to share and I am most appreciative of being able to utilize it. Well, thanks to them for being there. I just want to maybe be a part of making the world a little better place.”

Thanks for making learning easier,

— Jackie, Community Lead at Socratic.org

Need to memorize something for class?

Have you ever tried Quizlet? It’s a really cool app that lets you create flashcards and other study tools for memorization. You can create your own, or choose from a ton of user-generated “study sets” - anything from Chemistry, SAT prep, or even French!

Best of all - it’s free! Mobile apps are available on both the iPhone and Android.

Hope this makes learning easier,

— Jackie, Community Lead at Socratic.org