Learning with Technology + An Interview with a YouTuber + Tips on the AP Science Exam
Learning with technology has never been more interesting. Many students today learn within virtual classrooms and attend classes or lectures at the comfort of their own home. Besides accredited online schools and online tutoring, there are also online educational videos. Many of these videos are directed by well-qualified educators and can be found on mediums, such as YouTube and Discovery Education. Other than the fact that these videos are interactive and educational, some of these videos are also great for students who cannot afford to pay for extra assistance. Through these learning methods, educators have understood how technology can efficiently help students to comprehend what they have been taught and learn at their individual pace whilst socializing in a fun and safe environment
Recently, I got an opportunity to interview a YouTuber/Educator named Mr. Paul Andersen. Mr. Andersen has been a science teacher at Bozeman High School in Montana for over 20 years, teaching different sciences, including AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics. He is currently on sabbatical leave to focus on uploading videos and hosting workshops on topics such as using iPads in classrooms and educational technology all over the world.
(In 2012, Mr. Andersen gave a Ted Talk about how incorporating elements of video gaming into schools keeps students engaged and interested about learning.)
Six years ago, Mr. Andersen, a technology enthusiast, created videos on the big ideas of AP Biology for his students in hopes of keeping the students exciting about learning. After uploading these videos on YouTube as a result of a friend’s suggestion, his YouTube channel currently has close to 300 thousand subscribers. His channel has over 500 videos on topics such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Earth Science, Statistics and Graphing, and all three AP sciences. His videos have collectively been viewed over 30 million times. In addition, he has been chosen to be an EDU Guru, receiving support from YouTube for uploading educational videos. His videos are in such high demand by students all over the world that they have been translated in languages such as French, Spanish, Arabic, and Thai. Now, he is also working on creating the best methods that uses technology to help students live up to their full potential.
As an educator who focuses on helping students all over the world to cope with the AP Sciences material, he believes that it is important for students taking the AP Exam to study over a long period of time, as opposed to cramming for the exam, and utilize the review books. During the interview, he said, “I encourage all of my students to purchase review books for their specific exam. The most important part of review books are the practice tests. Set aside some time in the weeks before the exam to take a practice test. This allows you to focus your studies on the material that you don’t understand rather than wasting study time on everything. Study groups can be helpful if they are productive but individual study time is more important.
” When asked what’s his advice for students struggling with science in general, he replied, “it is difficult to understand larger concepts if you are stuck with simple vocabulary. Learning to read a science textbook is difficult but it is the single best indicator of how students do in my class. It is also a skill that you will need as you move to university.”
Today, because of educators like Mr. Andersen who are supporting the idea of learning with technology, many students have access to more interactive and interesting methods of learning. In fact, students studying for exams like the SATs and the AP Exam can now enroll in preparation courses offered through credible websites such as Kaplan Test Prep and Khan Academy, some of them offering one-on-one tutoring. Learning with technology is not only interactive and interesting, but also effective as proven by the fact that Mr. Andersen’s viewers on YouTube continue to grow. Also, graduates from online schools such as K12 International Academy have enrolled in institutions such as Harvard University, Duke University, and Berea College.
For more information on Mr. Paul Andersen and his videos:
Click here for resources to the K¹² International Academy AP program