Practical lessons for subjects such as chemistry and biology are being squeezed out of the timetable at all levels of education due to lack of kit, exam pressures and changes in funding.
A recent survey, by the group Science Community Representing Education, of 845 schools showed on average only 70% of secondary and just 46% of primary schools had the equipment required for science lab lessons. The survey also showed that in chemistry, some 60% of secondary schools reported too few pH monitors for the study of acids and alkalis. Shortages in magnets, microscopes, eye protection and connecting leads for circuits were also reported.
So how can schools overcome these issues to ensure that students experience the practical skills that are vital for an understanding of scientific method and for many technical careers?
The abundant availability of free online videos has resulted in a vast growth of video resources being used in MOOCS, blogs, wikis and VLEs. This coupled with the increased use of smart phones and tablets by students is being taken advantage of by education institutions all over the world. But how can the use of these videos be managed by instructors to ensure that it provides a solid reference point and adequate support to learning.
A unique new video ‘virtual’ learning management solution called SANSSpace may have the answer. SANSSpace has a unique comparative recorder and player that allows teachers to book mark any audio or video file. The format of these ‘e-post-it notes’ may be text, audio or video. The bookmarked video can be distributed to cohorts of students and they are able to record over the original with their own comments or questions.
For example a you tube video demonstrating ‘jumping sodium’ can be stored within your establishments SANSSpace and distributed during class time or the instructor may choose to flip the classroom and allow access at home so that classroom interaction may start from a more advanced starting point. Either option allows students to benefit from a more interactive experience than a text book alone would allow.
Instructors can assess coursework that is set through SANSSpace and communicate grades and comments back to their students. As SANSSpace captures all user activity, educators and learners can easily view the learning process and address and address any issues.