Activity: Reviewing Online Simulations
The world of math and science is all about observations. Sometimes we observe things we can see, such as in a frog dissection. Other times we observe things we can hear, such as with the Doppler effect. Still yet, we often create simulations of things we cannot see our hear (or feel or taste or ...) in order to try to explain what cannot be directly observed.
Technology is now used to create a vast array of simulations of mathematic/scientific phenomena. Many of these simulations are available for us to use through the Web.
Your are going to explore and critique a number of online simulations. In the process you will get a sense of what is immediately available to today's learners, and a flavor of what might be possible to tomorrow's.
In order to adequately experience all of the simulations, you'll need to be using a computer with a relatively fast Internet connection.
Step 1: Explore the Doppler Effect site. This site leads learners through a series of simulations to aid in their understanding of the Doppler effect.
In a word processor explain in your own words what the Doppler effect is. Also explain, how, if at all, this web site helped you understand this phenomenon. You will copy and paste your response in an email later, so don't delete it.
Step 2: Explore the NetFrog site. This site enables learners to experience a frog dissection without actually slicing open a frog.
In a word processor describe how the experience of performing a virtual frog dissection compared to live dissections you have performed in the past? You will copy and paste your response in an email later, so don't delete it.
Step 3: Choose two of the following simulation web sites and write a one paragraph critique for each one.
- Stock market game
- Calculus simulations
- The Ohm Zone
- Advance Math/Physics simulations
- Power House
- The Learning Equation: Math simulations
- Powers of Ten & Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
- Earth/Space simulations
- Volcano Explorer
Use your word processor to compose your review of the two sites. In your critique be sure to include the following:
- Give the name and URL of the simulation.
- Summarize what it is and/or what it does and why you like it.
- Describe how you might make use of it in a lesson. Be creative and specific here. Don't just write up the most obvious and vague use to which you'd put the resource.
Step 4: Put those Web search skills to the test and find your own online simulation. Using your word processor include the following:
- Give the name and URL of the site.
- Describe what the simulations does and what can be learned from using it.
Step 5: Copy and paste your responses, your critiques, and your discovered simulation URL and description into an email to be sent to your instructor (email@example.com). In the subject line of your email put "TL 6741 Your Name - Simulation".