The resource I have chosen are Gizmos, which are interactive math and science simulations. https://www.explorelearning.com
The simulations used in Gizmos can be used from grades 3-12. They meet many of the outcomes required by Alberta Education. Gizmos use an inquiry based approach to learning which can be helpful with building understanding of new concepts and reinforce concepts. I use them at times in my grade 9 Science class to give the students a different type of learning experience and also to create a lab experience for investigations that we don’t have the required supplies or technology.
Limits to the Context
- Students can, at times, just start pushing buttons and mixing things together without knowing what they are doing.
- background knowledge is required.
- Scientific concepts can be complicated, no explanations given.
What makes it pedagogically sound
- Covers required outcomes
- Offers enrichment
- Relatively simple to use.
- Includes graphing tools to compare results from experiments.
- Keeps students engaged for an appropriate length of time.
- Next best thing to doing an actual experiment
- Uses inquiry based learning.
Software, hardware and skills required.
- I’m not sure about the software, hardware or how someone would make a simulation such as Gizmos. They would be made by a computer programer and require skills that most teachers likely do not possess. These simulations are meant to be used by students, but not created by teachers. Teachers could be used by the programers to ensure simulations are pedagogically sound.
I love Gizmos. It’s really sad that Learn Alberta no longer subscribes to them on our behalf. Great resource to do a media analysis on.