PhET Virtual Labs and Beyond!
Virtual Labs and Beyond! Using PhET Interactive Simulations to support student-centered pedagogies
Sponsored by the Caltech Workgroup on Educational Science & Technology (WEST)
The PhET (formerly "Physics Education Technology") Interactive Simulations project has developed over 120 simulations for teaching and learning science and mathematics, grade school through grad school – available free at http://phet.colorado.edu. The simulations provide interactive environments in which students learn through scientist-like exploration and experimentation. PhET simulations emphasize the connections between real life phenomena and the underlying science, make the invisible visible, include the visual models that experts use to aid their thinking, and provide dynamic feedback that supports rapid cycles of inquiry. PhET simulations are created by a team of scientists, developers, and educators, using design principles grounded in research on how people learn, common student difficulties, and interface design. In this talk, we discuss how the PhET design principles inform intuitive, inviting simulations that support student-centered pedagogies, highlighting the use of PhET for teaching and learning chemistry in classroom, large lecture, and laboratory environments.
Julia Chamberlain is a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry education research at the University of Colorado Boulder. She completed her PhD in solid state chemistry at Northwestern University, and enjoys inorganic crystal structures, sharing PhET with students and educators, and hiking with her dog.