Doctor Aviation I FINALLY had the opportunity to learn about flying and aviation history, something I have wanted to do all my life, all thanks to Doctor Aviation. I recently had the opportunity to review Doctor Aviation and I have really enjoyed the course.
Doctor Aviation is presented by instructor Daryl Smith, an Air Force veteran who had a 24-year career flying over 2,000 hours for the Air Force. Having been an instructor pilot, research pilot, and eventually an instructor at the United States Air Force Academy, he eventually used this knowledge and experience to author an aviation book published by McGraw Hill and is currently a college professor. This course was his way to make an aviation course available to anyone interested in learning more about aviation anywhere in the world.
Now let me say this up front – we are a Navy family. I have many friends in all the branches of services and we all joke about who’s military branch is the best. But, I would have much rather heard about aviation with a Navy spin 🙂 And with Doctor Aviation being an Air Force man, he did throw in some light Navy slam that was making me a little defensive. However, I got over it and moved on and didn’t mind learning from him. 🙂 It really wasn’t anything serious, just normal for we military folks!
The Doctor Aviation online program has lessons that will appeal to many ages and experience levels. Though the program states to be designed for ages 14 and up, the course has 15 info-packed lessons that run about one hour each (there are a few that are around 45 minutes and a few that run a little over the 60-minute mark). It is presented in lecture style, with Doctor Aviation, typically holding a clipboard, talking to the camera. Each lesson includes 3 parts:
- technical trivia
- notable innovators
- legendary aviation events
There are pdf files that are included with each lesson are “Guided Notes” and “Learn More.” The Guided Notes are a great way to help a student take notes throughout the video. They are in a fill-in-the-blank format and allow the student to focus on what the important takeaways from the lessons are. Though, as an adult, I have had a lot of note-taking experience and like to take notes mostly, I can see the guided notes being very helpful for a high school student not experienced in note-taking. They definitely help the student stay focused on what’s important to retain from the lesson and make an excellent review when preparing for the quizzes and tests.
Here is a sample of the Guided Notes looks like:
The Learn More resources pdf has a lot of information to dig deeper and learn more about the topics covered in the lessons. There are books to read, YouTube videos to watch, websites to visit, and additional information. He does refer to additional information in the videos and will direct you to some of them in the lessons when describing something or wants you to understand something a little better.
Here is a sample of what you get in the Learn More section:
The website is easy to use and navigate. There is a dashboard where you see your progress and pick up your next lesson. You can also see how many days you have been in the course, how far you are into the course, click on the next lesson, and see when your course subscription expires.
Once you have clicked on the lesson you can watch the lesson, download the resource or navigate forward or back through the lessons. Once you have completed the lesson you click the button stating “Mark Lesson Complete” and then you can move on. I did accidentally mark the lesson complete once and found it could click the button again to unmark it complete. I like that because I would think if I was using it for my student to work through independently, I would like to be able to do that in case my student marked it complete and then did the test and didn’t do well, it would be good to be able to go back and unmark them complete to be completed again. I think that would be a good feature.
The lessons are very thorough. Doctor Aviation covers a lot of ground. Here is what you get to learn about with this program:
The videos are mostly Doctor Aviation talking with the plane in the background. I found it interesting that it is a prop and he never once used it for reference. I really thought he would be pointing things out to it throughout the course but…I was wrong. That’s ok, he shows a lot of other graphics throughout the course. He shows info, picture, graphs, and even geography when appropriate.
Overall, I liked the course and will enjoy completing it. My 7-year-old son sat on my lap and watched portions and enjoyed it but it would definitely be too formal of a course for him. My 12-year-old watched a little and asked if she could do it. I would love to let her do that and she may start working through some of the lessons here shortly.
Watch a 3-minute video about Doctor Aviation and learn what the program is about for yourself. You can also check out the first session, which gives an overview of Aviation and see if it sounds like something you or your family would love. It makes a great self-study course for adults interested in aviation and a wonderful and interesting high school course for your teenagers interested in aviation. How fun would it have been to take aviation as an elective in High School? The 6-month video course is enough for a 1/2 credit to be awarded; however, you could probably earn a full credit if enough of the extra activities and resource suggestions were utilized.
Be sure to check out what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of Doctor Aviation and how they used it in their homes by clicking the banner below. And visit Doctor Aviation on social media:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doctoraviation Tag: @doctoraviation
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/draviationguy Tag: @draviationguy
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