Teaching in the Future Now

Brian Miller is in his 30th year as a science educator, and in his 25th year at LaSalle High School in Pasadena.

This month, SOPHIA, an innovative online learning program developed in conjunction with Capella University and “Bill Nye the Science Guy,”has chosen him as their“Featured Teacher” for his use of technology in the classroom.

Miller has spent 20 years as the science department chair teaching Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Environmental Science. He organizes his teaching based upon what he called the “The Six C’s”: Think Critically, Communicate Clearly,
Work Collaboratively,Embrace Culture, Develop Creativity, andUtilize Connectivity.

As Miller told Pasadena Now, “I adopted the SOPHIA website in January as a means of delivering contentfor my Honors Chemistry. I create tutorials and playlists for studentsto view and complete their work at home.”

Added Miller, “Both my students and I have been very pleased with the SOPHIA site. I have completed professional development programs online throughSOPHIA/Capella on the Flipped Classroom, iPads in the Classroom, and the Virtual Classroom. I have also shared SOPHIA in my department and have been afeatured contributor to its“School of Thought” Blog.”

According to their website, Sophia and Capella have developed a host of college readiness resources including more than 30,000 tutorials focused on the gateway subjects of Math, English, and Science, as well as the broadest set of tools to help teachers innovate inside and outside the classroom, all in an ad-free environment. By making these resources free to students and teachers, more students will have the opportunity to learn the way they learn best, fill in gaps in their understanding of key concepts, and increase their chances of college success.

Not surprisingly, Miller utilizes every avenue available, both in and out of the classroom, to get students to maximize their potential.

As someone who looks up to the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Miller agrees that, “Success is peace of mind which is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

He is not only passionate about teaching and learning but loves to share what he does in the classroom and has presented numerous times on how to integrate flipping the classroom while using best practices for science instruction. In his article, 7 Stepping Stones to a Flipped Classroom, he breaks down how he does it.

For access to Brian Miller’s library of science lessons,interested readers may check out his online SOPHIA profile, Brian Miller. SOPHIA online learning is at http://www.sophia.org/capella.

La Salle High School, 3880 East Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 351-8951 or visit www.lasallehs.org.


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