As I left off in my last post, I tried out Oppia.org by creating an exploration called “Dimensional Analysis for Chemistry.” In short, while the creation process is a little laborious depending on the complexity of the exploration, I was rather pleased with the content creation tools. In particular, I was impressed by the powerful options for setting the feedback rules for user responses. In my opinion, Oppia may have a place in a teacher’s tool belt–or it can just become a creative hobby. Here’s the good and the…almost good, to consider when you look at Oppia.org. Continue reading →
If you are a student looking for a new way to memorize the crud you have to cram for class, Study Putty would like to help.
Why do we beat quizzing yourself on that crinkled cheat sheet another twenty-seven times? Why do we top reading the same table in your textbook on endless repeat? (With prospects that thrilling, do I even need to say?) Well, let me tell you. Nay, let me show you. Does your normal way of studying look like this?
Demonstrating our “constructive feedback” feature running in Shakespearean English.
Content requests? Or are you interested in developing custom learning tools for your classroom? Contact us!
Periodic table stock in this graphic by Wikipedia user DePeip. CC3.0 Attribution/Share-alike.
Visit our project StudyPutty.com to use our awesome memorization tools. It’s free and it’s a change of pace from quizzing yourself on that crumpled-up cheat sheet for the twenty billionth time, for the love of Gallium. Click the logo below to go there now! Continue reading →
Where the action happens: at the intersection of DINOSAURS AND SPORTS. POW!
Number Munchers: Vanished About the Same Time as Dinosaurs; Yes, I Know I’m Getting Old.
“Munchers” was a series of educational games produced by MECC through the 80’s and 90’s. I passed through the digestive tract of elementary education just in time to catch classics like Number Munchers, and MECC’s more famous non-Muncher title, Oregon Trail, whenever my class took a privileged jaunt down the hall to the hi-tech and new-fangled Apple IIe computer lab.
Like anything that shaped a generation, Number Munchers is subject to copycats, whether motivated by nostalgia or by the desire to occupy the original product’s commercial niche. MECC–or the Learning Company, which acquired it–vanished from the face of the Earth in 1999, and who knows whose intellectual property that little green…uh…whatever-he-is…is. So a search for “Number Munchers” on the Internet, the App Store, or Google Play will return several…tributes, I guess we can call them if we want to be kind? If being kind bores you and you’d rather be honest, what we find is a handful of slightly-off trademark knock-offs, all of them as weak compared to the real thing as a Go-Bot was to a Transformer…I’m dating myself again aren’t I? Continue reading →
Think of Algodoo as a virtual playground. Algodoo brings the sophisticated Algoryx physics engine to anyone’s computer or tablet, to learn or to play–and the boundary between the two is pretty blurry no matter how you use it. Watch the magic unfold in this demo vid from Algodoo.
“Memorization” is a foul word in education. Students hate doing it. Teachers hate that their students spend so much time trying to cram data into their noggins when the point is really the concept, not the vocab. But this doesn’t change the fact that mastering ‘vocabulary’ — whether it be definitions, abbreviations, symbols, or formulas — is a crucial hurdle students must get over.
“Critical thought, evaluation, and synthesis all sit on the backbone of vocabulary.”
— Rachel Watson, Professional Academic Lecturer, Dept. of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming, non-fan of rote memorization, and creator of her own open courseware.
Matching names and formulae of common polyatomic ions.
Easing the student’s memorization burden is the idea behind Study Putty, our set of online learning activities currently under development and available for students to use.
Study Putty provides several straightforward ways to memorize information. It’s not a game or a sim, it’s just a variety of memorization activities for fundamental facts prerequisite to mastering important concepts. We are starting with the subject of chemistry and looking to grow into other fields. Our chemistry activities are designed to get the dirty job of memorization done so the student can move on with labs, with class, with life. All of our activities are free to use. Continue reading →
Social Media and Education: a Match Made in the Near Future?
With social media and mashable technology entering their heyday, one could imagine a great opportunity and, perhaps, an intriguing potential for competitive learning games. However, if you search the Facebook apps directory with the term `learning` or `education,` there won`t be a lot of results. And most of those results are going to be language learning software aimed at adults outside of the education system. Continue reading →
High school and college students have a number of free apps available to help with chemistry class. After browsing the App Store I selected two periodic table apps that were free, high quality, and which seemed efficacious for learning. These selections can aid a student who is rehearsing the elements for an exam, or anybody who would like to be more familiar with the periodic table. Continue reading →
From the AACP: “The purpose of the Competition is to identify innovative teaching/learning strategies and assessment methods.”
Meghan’s winning portfolio will be presented at this year’s AACP Annual Meeting on July 13-17 in Chicago. “The AACP Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of academic pharmacy administrators, faculty and staff, and each year offers 70 or more educational programs that cut across all disciplines.”
Congratulations, Meghan! We are proud to be a part of your success.
PhET does not stand for Physics Education Technology. Once upon a time it did, but not since they branched out into learning tools for other subjects like chemistry. The PhET team at the University of Colorado in Boulder has long set the standard for online simulations for the sciences.
Their Flash simulations provide learning opportunities both for the chemistry classroom and for the student at home struggling to understand a concept. I picked through their catalogue of free chemistry sims in order to review a selection of what they offer. Continue reading →