Saturday, April 21, 2007

PhET Simulations (again)

I've arrived at the point in Physics where I'm teaching about current electricity. I start students out with batteries and light bulbs. I'm generally pretty cheap, so I don't buy light bulbs I just scavenge them from dead strands of Christmas lights. Anyway, after this we move onto the Circuit Construction Kit over at PhET.

I've mentioned PhET and the use of simulations in previous posts, but I just learned something new about the PhET site so I thought I'd share. They have an extensive set of ready made lesson plans to go with the simulations. Some of these were created by the PhET team and others created by educators like you and me. As with any collections of lessons you find on the net, you'll undoubtedly find some you can use and some you can't.

I love using really good simulations because my students end up being really engaged with the material. As an example, on day two of my lesson using the Circuit Construction Kit I notice a student playing with one of the other simulations. I asked him what he was doing and he said he had finished the lab and wanted to "Play some of the other games". He went on to say he had played with many of them last nigh.

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