New Visualization Tools
The Go-Lab Portal, co-funded by the European Commission, offers science teachers an opportunity to create highly interactive and customized(!) inquiry learning experiences for their students.
The Lab provides Inquiry Leaning Spaces (ILSs) for everything from electrical circuits and planetary impacts to an hypothesis tool and how to build an atom. The structure of an ILS follows an inquiry learning cycle with dedicated inquiry phases.
The student's goal is to build a bridge so workers can retrieve cargo from the other side of the valley. An interactive game that teaches physics, planning and budgeting. You'll need to plan ahead as you build!
Explore Learning, originally a dissertation project, allows students to visualize and alter parameters in topics such as mechanics and life sciences.
Specific labs include mouse genetics, golf range motion, orbit simulators, etc. Such labs will allow manipulations that are far more complex to implement in the real world.
From the IMAX movie Cosmic Voyage. It puts big and small into perspective and takes you on a voyage through the universe! Narrated by Morgan Freeman. A modern take on the "Powers of Ten" film from 1977.
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How animations can help scientists test a hypothesis
Molecular biologist (and TED Fellow) Janet Iwasa introduces a new open-source 3D animation software -- Molecular Flipbook -- designed to bring scientific hypotheses to life. Includes interesting incites into how your body works at the cellular level.
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Google's Cardboard VR headset
What can you do with some cardboard and misc. parts, plus your cell phone? How about a functional 3D viewer. Here's how it works.
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Here's more information on Google's affordable VR viewer, including information on how you can get a clone of the pre-cut cardboard VR viewer for as low as $20.
This web site provides near real time tracking of commercial aircraft traveling around the entire world. Search on a nearby busy airport or zoom out to see regional activity. Can be used to show the multiplier effect. One aircraft is no big deal. Zoom out and see how quickly things get complex. Zoom out further and map out international trade and commerce routes.
Molecular Flipbook is a free and open source platform for the scientific & education community. Molecular Flipbook features a much more accessible and simple user experience than most 3D software, specifically created for its target audience, not professional 3D designers or programmers.
This article goes into details on the project, with more videos and links to the Molecular Flipbook download page.
While many elementary school teachers hold to the theory that hands-on math facilitates learning, secondary teachers become concerned when students cannot master abstractions, especially along more than one dimension.
While some practitioners enjoy heated debates between opposing viewpoints (e.g., whole language versus phonics), we take the view that sound teaching can draw upon multiple methods.
These sites' lessons can be easily coordinated with hands-on materials, because the graphicality and friendliness suit such a blend.
Related Topics ...
Other Areas To Check Out...
• Computers in the Classroom
• Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet
• Example Computer-Assisted Collaboration Projects
• Getting Started And Happy Endings
• National Science Teachers Association - Content and Research
• National, State, and Regional Education Networks Sampler
• STEM Primer
• Technology in Learning
• Virtual Schools Sampler