Our Open Letter to all Teachers who care about Children around the World


The Practical Applications of Probability when Courting

It’s here! Our brand new engagement video, ‘The Probability of Love.

Filmed and Produced by Emilie Sheehan, Luke Malkin and Sarah Bailey

Music by Óðinn Örn Hilmarsson

Starring Emilie Sheehan & Luke Malkin

Additional Camerawork by Kimberley Faria

Luke: I Can See Lights

So, we’ve heard from Murillo manager Malik, but what about our interns? Here’s Luke to give us an intern’s perspective on Seville so far.

I don´t like it one bit.

The christmas lights going up in Seville yesterday, though a nice reminder that St.Nic’s elves will soon get a day off, also means that our time in Seville is starting to look a bit short. We’re now at the less than one month to go phase. Most of the work is actually behind us.

And it’s been quite a lot of stuff. Plenty of opportunities to learn and plenty of opportunities to create. You only need to look at our new team page to see what a diverse bunch of creatives we are. It means that when a new project comes calling, there’s bound to be someone who knows the right program to use, or right method to display something effectively.

Our bread and butter is of course the key knowledge videos that make up the bulk of content on The Virtual School. It’s exciting not only to be creating the videos, but also to be defining the style that they are presented in. The quality of the videos, in my opinion, is increasing as we get used to the workflow and the most effective ways of visualising audio provided to us by the teachers. The audio quality is improving too, which was the area I am usually most concerned about in what´s been created so far. Here’s one on Ecological Pyramids from Tom:

The other content we’re producing for The Virtual School are engagement and marketing videos. The Molar Eclipse of the Heart video sits at 6,600 views on Youtube right now. The target I had at the back of my mind when spreading it through twitter like wildfire was for the viewcount to get to 10,000. It’s perhaps a bit ambitious but we’ll see how close it gets. In the week it was released, I calculated our maximum potential twitter reach (people exposed to a tweet containing the Youtube link directly through VS or through retweets) was over 50,000. Twitter´s just one way we’re driving people to the video too. By the way, if you haven´t seen it yet it’s here.

But there´s more where that came from. We´re about to release the first suite of key knowledge videos from our group as teachers and colleagues’ suggestions get taken on board to make informative and engaging learning resources. Subscribe to our Youtube EDU channel and look out for them! Additionally, they will soon be joined by two new engagement videos: A One-Direction Parody Music Video, called “Live While We Can”, for Ecological Systems which involved all the Murillos but was lead by Imi, Carl and Freya and “The Odds of Love” a silent romance short on probability directed by Emilie, Sarah and myself with additional camerawork from Kim. The final bit of shooting for our video takes place this afternoon and “Live While We Can” is well into the editing stages. While we put them together, here’s a behind-the-scenes teaser of “Live While We Can” from Liane:

There´s been plenty of chances for personal development too. Most of us have each had a “Sharing Tuesday” session now, and skillshare sessions have been teaching us new pieces of software. Under the tutorlidge of Freya I turned the Torro Del Oro into a colourful funhouse in photoshop. It’s probably best that I never became an architect.

I won’t end this post with the faux-negativity I started it with. One month to go is no reason to start slowing down, it means one more month to make as much of an impact as I can and to let it, the Murillos and the beautiful city of Seville impact me with the same relentless enthusiasm.

A Molar Success!

Last week our Bonnie Tyler vs. Avogadro mash-up Molar Eclipse of the Heart hit the 6,500 views mark and we couldn’t be happier! A big thanks to all the followers, tweeters and bloggers who shared the video. If you missed it you can check it out below.

It may be another year til the next Mole Day but that’s no reason to stop learning. If Mole Day has brought out the chemist in you, head over to our growing chemistry channel HERE.

In the meantime, you can be sure that we’ve got plenty more musical goodness up our sleeve. Stay tuned!

Molar Eclipse of the Heart | Mole Day 2012

It’s Mole Day, everyone!

Only last week were we celebrating women in STEM thanks to Ada Lovelace Day. This week the science appreciation calendar let’s us unleash our inner chemistry fans and celebrate that wonderful unit of measurement, the MOLE!

It’s was all the way back in the 1800s that Amedeo Avogadro introduced us to the handy unit, and today it remains a vital tool for scientists.

In the name of Mole Day our team has been working on a musical treat for the many Avogadro fans around the world.

Without further a do, Molar Eclipse of the Heart!

(Given the catchy nature of the number, we’ve included the lyrics below.)

Underground, moles are little animals with really weird noses who like to dig around

Round and brown, every here and there you’ll find a hairy brown spot on your skin, we also call that a mole!

Search around, moles are spies who work in private espionage, they spy in secret, and they don’t make a sound

Also found,
Everywhere in mexico Mole is a spicy sauce
Same spelling but a whole different sound!

Turnaround blind eyes
Don’t you know it’s more than you can tell

Turnaround blind eyes, moles can also mean something else
‘Cos in chemistry a mole.
Is a unit used to measure,
The atoms or molecules,
In a substance of whatever!
It’s the number of carbon twelve atoms
In twelve grams of carbon…
Matter’s filled with way too many atoms to count,
So use Avagadro’s number to express the amount!

For any type of matter: solid, liquid or gas,
The grams within a mole will equal atomic mass.
All you need is a mole!

Six-oh-two sextillion!
Six-oh-two sextillion!

Six point oh two two, one four oh seven eight,
Times 10 to power of twenty three
That number’s a mole
We use it in chemistry.

Once upon a time Avagadro said hey!
And showed us the way out of the dark,
His number you must use,
A molar eclipse of the heart.

A molar eclipse of the heart.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’ve been watching our videos on YouTube, you’ll hopefully have learned some useful stuff (or at least been reminded of things you used to know).  But watching a video and understanding it is just the first step.  The next thing is to practice and apply what you’ve learned.  That’s why we’re bringing you video-based practice questions.

Read through the question, pause the video, and try to work it out for yourself.  Once you’ve got an answer (or if you get stuck), you can press play and watch the teacher working through the problem. If you got it right, then great!  Time to move on to the next chapter.  If you’re still struggling, don’t worry!  You’ve got the resources at your fingertips: just go back and review the videos in the chapter.  Or post a question in the comments below the video, and we’ll help you out!

So, let’s give it a go.  Here’s Practice Exam Question #1 from our chemistry chapter on Atoms:

Think you need some review to be able to answer that?  No prob.  Just watch here to learn all about atoms:


Happy Studying!

Music and Learning – The Perfect Match

Do you know all the words to you favourite songs, yet you never really tried to learn the lyrics?

Ever had a song stuck in your head going round and round, repeating even though you don’t really want it to?

Well us Murillos certainly have!

Here at ‘The Virtual School’ we are passionate about inspiring students to learn and to engage with their studies, and what better way to help people learn than making a music video!

So now when that song gets stuck in your head, or you are subconsciously memorizing the lyrics, we are helping people to learn too!

Rose Galsworthy