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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Doctor Aviation

Our latest review has been for Doctor Aviation, a website for instructing those who are interested in aviation.  Over the last several weeks we have been working on fascinating lessons in Aviation Education.

Doctor Aviation

Doctor Aviation is an online course recommended for high school and adult learners, but you can use it with younger children who are interested as well.  The course contains 15 lessons.  Each lesson has an online video that is streamed and lasts around an hour.  Each video has three sections: Technical Trivia talks about the technical side of flying and airplanes, Notable Innovators talks about people who made a difference in flying, and Legendary Events discusses important and memorable events in aviation.  To go along with each lesson there is a downloadable PDF of guided notes that you or your child can fill in while watching the video. There is also a downloadable PDF called To Learn More that lists books, videos, websites, and activities that you can do to further your study on the topic being discussed.  The course also includes tests.

The videos can be watched on a computer, tablet, or mobile device.  When you sign up and pay for the course you choose on online log in and password.  After completing a lesson, you mark it as complete and the next time you log in it starts you where you left off.  You do have the ability to go back and view the lessons more then once.  Doctor Aviation is $99 for a 6 month subscription. Lessons include:

Session 1 Course Overview: The Aviation System
I. The Aircraft
Session 2 The Major Components of an Airplane Session
3 Axes and Forces Session
4 Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift Session
5 Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls

II. Air Traffic Control
Session 6 How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar
Session 7 The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works

III. Maintenance
Session 8 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Propeller Engines
Session 9 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Jet Engines

IV. Airfield Operations
Session 10 The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport
Session 11 The Small Airport and Running an FBO

V. The Aircraft II
Session 12 Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC
Session 13 Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator
Session 14 Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator
Session 15 Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships

A few weeks ago we did a family read aloud on Orville and Wilbur Wright.  My boys were fascinated with the book and with flying in general.  They even spent their money on drones so they could have something to fly.  They are much younger then the suggested age range for this course but I thought they would enjoy it and that I would watch the videos with them.  We completed one video lesson per week.  We watched the entire lesson in one sitting, but because of the way the lesson is divided, it would be very easy to watch one segment three times a week.

The Doctor Aviation videos reminded me of being in college.  For most of the video, the instructor is standing beside a plane and lecturing all of the information.  There is an occasional graphic or chart, but mostly it was just him standing and talking.  We found the information presented in the course fascinating.  The boys were interested in the technical trivia.  We all loved the sections on Notable Innovators and Legendary Events.  We learned so much!  The first lesson was on the Wright Brothers and even though we had just studied them learned some things that we didn't already know.  Chuck Yeager was a name that we had not heard before and learned some very interesting things about his life. We loved the lesson on Amelia Earhart and her failed flight across the Atlantic.  That was interesting timing as we had just watched a documentary on her.  Daniel Bernoulli was a name we had heard in science but did not know much about before watching the lesson on Doctor Aviation.

Because I was using this with my boys who were under the age range, I did not have them use the guided notes or To Learn More resources but I did look them over for review purposes.  There are some wonderful resources and activities listed in the resources to further your study on all of the topics presented and filling in the guided notes is a great way to ensure active listening and prepare for the tests.

Can Doctor Aviation be used for high school credit? Absolutely.  Watching the videos, taking the exams, and adding a few activities can easily earn a half credit.  Adding in all or almost all of the activities could even earn a full credit.  Because this course discusses so much history, you could even earn part credit in history and or science/aviation. 

Doctor Aviation is a wonderful course for students/adults who are interested in flying and the history of flight.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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