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UL Education students offering interactive science lessons via Facebook

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Posted at 9:29 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 07:29:20-04

LAFAYETTE — With schools shut down, including college campuses, UL education majors were left not knowing how to get their required field experience hours.

Two of their professors came up with a fun idea - a Facebook page, allowing the student teachers to teach lessons for all ages.

Nathan Dolenc is an assistant professor for Science Education at UL. On Thursday he and Aimee Barber, who is also an instructor, taught lessons via Facebook. You have to 'join the group' to see the post, but anyone can join. The group has gained more than 1,200 members in just a week's time.

"We're just trying to do our part, I guess," Dolenc said.

"If we can provide some stability for families right now, if we can give that one little outlet per day, where they know right on the dot at 3 there will be a science lesson delivered to their living room, then great," Barber added.

Dolenc starts the day at 9 a.m. with a recap of the previous day. Then at 3:00 pm he goes live with a demonstration. From there, the student teachers post their videos.

It's an innovative way for education majors to obtain the required hours of field experience before graduation. Barber says each student needs 10 hours per class.

The group already has an entire spread sheet of lessons and videos ready to be posted.

"We started a Google sheet, it's like a TV Guide, and our students sign up for a time slot, then we go from there," Dolenc explained.

They've blocked off the 3-4 p.m. hour each weekday for three weeks to provide science and engineering lessons, says Dolenc.

Students and teachers were given short notice that they would have to transition to remote instruction. But Dolenc and Barber had the idea for the group and ran with it, they say.

The group has several benefits - students are teaching the lessons, it gives parents and kids an outlet while stuck at home, and it benefits current teachers looking for ideas for when they'll return to their classrooms.

For now it is science-based, but Dolenc says he knows plenty of teachers ready to come on board. Barber says by next week viewers should start to see more teachers' lesson plans.

"We would love to expand out. We've talked a few people, in particular, one who teaches children's literature, who is looking at possible ways for her students to bring in their lessons," Barber said.

The Facebook Live lessons will continue for several weeks. The Facebook page is called 'Outbreak Education @ UL. Watch them live starting at 3:00 pm by clicking here.