A couple of years ago I was teaching some AS chemistry classes and it was in the year of the royal wedding and so we had an extra day’s holiday. This along with bank holidays and the way Easter fell that year meant that I would be unable to get everything done in the lessons that I wanted in order to prepare the students for the May exams. After racking my brains about what I could do, I eventually decided to put some videos together to teach the topics I intended to teach but was unable to. I was blown away by the response to this as students found it really helpful to watch a video at a time when they were ready. I made further videos for revision and these were also well received and demonstrated the power of this way of learning. Of course there are videos out there on all kinds of subjects but often these are not dedicated to the particular specification/course being studied. At around this time I started to put together questions for my students that ran on their PCs where the mark scheme for each question was just a click away and there were explanations in the form of videos available at the click of a button. I was amazed by how efficiently the students could work through these questions. For the more able, they were able work very quickly just clicking on the answer to confirm they were correct and the less able were able to get an explanation from the video if they needed. It certainly freed me up to give more in-depth support to those that needed it.
Another thing that occurred to me when observing my own students was how unorganised some of them were at keeping notes! I then decided I would ensure every student had a good set of notes from which to revise from. This is what I’ve done with Boomer Chemistry Complete Tutor Resource where I have summarised the essentials of what is necessary to know to do very well in the exams. These are all cross referenced to the appropriate video.
As a result of this early tinkering I came up with the idea for the Boomer Chemistry Complete Tutor Resource where students had everything they needed at their finger tips in one place.
In developing the resource we have worked with enthusiastic science teachers around the UK who have kindly provided invaluable feedback to help us develop the product we now have. We are presently planning some educational research with the resource to formally record student experiences in using the resource and how well it prepared them for the exams.
These are very exciting times in education and technology will undoubtedly change the way we all learn in the future.
Andrew Wilkins MSc MEd CChem MRSC QTS