1. Kathy Perkins
  2. http://phet.colorado.edu
  3. Director, PhET Interactive Simualtions
  4. PhET Interactive Simulations for Math
  5. https://phet.colorado.edu
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Karina Hensberry
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. PhET Interactive Simulations for Math
  4. https://phet.colorado.edu
  5. University of South Florida Saint Petersburg
  1. Amanda McGarry
  2. Math Specialist
  3. PhET Interactive Simulations for Math
  4. https://phet.colorado.edu
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. David Webb
  2. http://www.colorado.edu/education/david-c-webb
  3. Associate Professor
  4. PhET Interactive Simulations for Math
  5. https://phet.colorado.edu
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Ian Whitacre
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. PhET Interactive Simulations for Math
  4. https://phet.colorado.edu
  5. Florida State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 08:44 a.m.

    Thanks for your interest in this new effort by PhET! We are excited to be partnering with math education researchers to examine how PhET simulations can be designed and used to advance teaching and learning in the math classroom. 

     

    We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on our work so far. We are always looking for ways to advance, for insights and feedback from teachers, learners, and other researchers, and for opportunities to collaborate to further impact engagement and learning in STEM. 

     
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  • Icon for: Leonard Abella

    Leonard Abella

    K-12 Teacher
    May 18, 2017 | 04:59 p.m.

    Excellent loved MATH work!

    Anything I can do to help just count on me :D

     

    Leonard Abella

    Math Teacher

    Bogotá, Colombia 

     
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  • Icon for: Jennifer Yurof

    Jennifer Yurof

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 01:15 p.m.

    Hi Kathy - wow! I really appreciate you sharing the PhET simulations.  The interactive design of the simulations seem like a fantastic way to enrich teaching and learning in the math classroom. Are the simulations available through a website or downloaded through an app? Do you find particular platforms/browsers more compatible than others?

    The blended and/or flipped classroom immediately came to mind when I was watching your video. Do you have teachers currently using the simulations to enhance their blended or flipped classrooms?

     
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    Karina Hensberry
  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 02:51 a.m.

    Hi Jennifer, 

    The simulations are available on our website (http://phet.colorado.edu) and we also have an iPad App. They are open educational resources - so free to use - and we've worked hard to make sure they work across all platforms, including computers, chromebooks, and tablets. They work on phones, but the screen area is a bit small for optimal use (although the students have younger eyes than mine and seem to use it there anyways sometimes). 

     

    We design the simulations to be highly flexible tools, so they can be integrated in class or used outside of class and with many different pedagogical approaches. I think the flipped classrroom would be a great option, where students engaged in with the sim outside the class to make some initial discoveries, and then brought their findings from that into the classrooms and the teacher was able to pick up a facilitated discussion from there. That said, so far for this new math work we've mostly been looking at student use of the sims in the classroom. 

     
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  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 11:48 p.m.

    Agreed re: the potential for use in blended or flipped classrooms, Jennifer. 

    How did you decide what math concepts to simulate? 

     
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  • Icon for: Karina Hensberry

    Karina Hensberry

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 10:23 a.m.

    Choosing a concept to simulate is a lengthy process in which we consider many things. Sometimes teachers make suggestions for topics, sometimes we turn to the literature for topics in mathematics where students struggle and that we think we can make a worthy contribution. We try to choose math concepts that would benefit from being simulated (as opposed to taught some other way). We also don't want to create a sim that is too similar to something that has been done before, so we consider concepts that other computer-based tools don't address or that we feel we could improve upon and do something different from what is already out there. Also, we try to choose concepts with rich, multiple ways of representing them because the dynamic linking of those representation in the sim is a powerful way to support student learning. It's lots for us to think about! 

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Ian Whitacre

    Ian Whitacre

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:20 a.m.

    PhET sims are freely available online: https://phet.colorado.edu

    There is also an iPad app that enables the sims to be run offline: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phet-simulation...

     

     
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  • Icon for: Ian Whitacre

    Ian Whitacre

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:21 a.m.

    The new sims are written in HTML5, which is very device friendly.

     
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  • Icon for: Ian Whitacre

    Ian Whitacre

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:22 a.m.

    I'll defer to Kathy re flipped classrooms. I agree that the potential is there.

     
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  • Icon for: Jeremy Roschelle

    Jeremy Roschelle

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 11:05 p.m.

    Hi Kathy,

    What is your biggest aha moment in this project so far?

    thanks for the great video!

    jeremy

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 02:59 a.m.

    Hi Jeremy, 

    We've definitely had some learning moments in this work, and I'm sure we will have some more. As we've been working closely with teachers as they integrate the sims in their classrooms, we've recognized the challenge for math educators to find the time in their planning and in their classroom seat time to open a space for an inquiry-based sim lesson within their planned curriculum. This is a distinct contrast between math instruction and science instruction, which has built-in time for labs/activities. So we have started building lessons that are replacement days for a particular curriculum and can be swapped in. We want to support scaling and adoption of these resources by the math community, so we will be looking to see how this sort of approach may work for teachers. 

     

    Ian, Karina, and team have also done some very nice work to examine how teachers use a sim in a lesson, and have characterized those ways. It helps us start to understand the types of teacher resources that are needed to better support teachers to fully leverage the sims. 

    Kathy 

     
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  • Icon for: David Webb

    David Webb

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 12:05 a.m.

    Here are some direct links to some of the simulations featured in the video:

    Expression Exchange

    Function Builder

    Proportion Playground

    Unit Rates

     
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  • Icon for: Jennifer Yurof

    Jennifer Yurof

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 09:41 a.m.

    Hi David - thanks so much for sharing these links. They are great!

     
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  • Icon for: Steven Rogg

    Steven Rogg

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 06:47 p.m.

    This is a welcome set of tools. I'd love to hear about formative assessment with PhET. Also, could you speak to PhET sims as models that represent constructs and relationships, and the degree that students might understand this?

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 09:32 p.m.

    Thanks for your questions, Steven. We see teachers using PhET sims for formative assessment quite often. One approach I have seen work quite well is to have the sim at the front of the room and ask students to make a predication about something, and solicit ideas from the students. With every sim, we bring in students to interview, and we watch to see how they interpret the feedback from the sims and whether they identify the core relationships that we've identified as learning goals. 

     
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    Steven Rogg, Ph.D.
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    Katharine Schierkolk

    K-12 Teacher
    May 18, 2017 | 12:14 p.m.

    I and my co-workers have been using PhETs for years now and it is so awesome to have this resource at our finger tips. 8th grade Science has a lot of information to cover and some of the topics are hard to demonstrate as we can't buy all the lab equipment, but with your programs and generosity we can bring learning in to the classroom!  I thank you for all that you have done and do for this program and all of you who have been involved in making PhETs what they are today!  THANK YOU!!! 

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 09:24 p.m.

    Thank you, Katharine! Great to hear the sims have been so useful to you and your students. 

     
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  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 07:33 p.m.

    Can you say how you're measuring the hoped-for impacts expressed by David Webb at the end of the video? How will you know if you have succeeded? Thanks. 

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 09:23 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest, Heidi! It's early days yet. We have been working closely with teachers and observing classrooms. Ian and team have some nice results about how teachers position the simulation in a lesson, how they facilitate the lesson, and the role of open play in the lesson. Our evaluation partner - SRI - is running a survey right now to survey math teachers as formative input on our work to inform our work on teacher resources. Next year, we will do a controlled study that looks both at classroom characteristics as well as student outcomes of business-as-usual and sim-based lessons for a small cohort of teachers who have never used PhET sims in instruction. 

     
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  • Icon for: Kristen Malzahn

    Kristen Malzahn

    Researcher
    May 19, 2017 | 12:38 p.m.

    This is a great resource for the field! What kind of training, if any, are you providing teachers who are using the PhET simulations in their classrooms? What challenges are teachers encountering when using the simulations (other than not having enough time to use these type of lessons in their curriculum)? 

     
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  • Icon for: Amanda McGarry

    Amanda McGarry

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 03:58 p.m.

    Hi Kristen,

    We hope to learn more about the resources that teachers need in order to effectively integrate sims into their classrooms in our upcoming pilot study. We currently provide video and downloadable teaching resources on the PhET website that are both generally about using PhET sims, writing activities, and facilitating classroom activities, as well as sim-specific resources such as key design features and lesson ideas.

    A common challenge teachers have is how to use such an open-ended resource. Many teachers fear letting their students run wild with technology without first showing them how to use it. However, our research shows that students are more than capable of figuring out how to use a sim and learn a lot  from it before being given specific prompts! So we encourage open play time for all sim-based lessons before diving in to the challenge prompts directed at specific learning goals.

     
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    Katharine Schierkolk

    K-12 Teacher
    May 19, 2017 | 12:47 p.m.

    I have not had the pleasure of using a PhET lesson plan, we are usually trying to find simulations to support our lessons we are madly creating.  The flip side of this is not having the time to vet or look through the lessons that have been created.  Time is always something we run out of.  I will have to make it a priority to look through the existing lessons to see if there is an easy way to incorporate them in to our current curriculum since ours is changing again....

    Some additional challenges are just finding of having devices that will run the sims.  The HTML5 will run on pretty much any device, but the ones that have not be converted yet sometimes must be run as a teacher demo rather than allowing kids to explore on their own.  Our school is a BYODevice, so we have the ability to access internet all the time.  Other schools or districts that have to share devices or labs will run in to the time/number of devices issues.

     
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  • Icon for: Karina Hensberry

    Karina Hensberry

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:21 p.m.

    Katharine, you describe some of the very challenges we hear from other teachers, and which we are trying to address! It is, unfortunately, expensive and time consuming to convert existing sims to HTML5. We're working on it, and redesigning sims in the process to make them even better, but it is a slow process for sure. We have seen successful lessons with two and even sometimes three students sharing one device, which sometimes helps if the school/teacher has limited access to computers or other devices. 

    One thing we are learning this year as we have been working with teachers to develop lessons is that some sims fit easily into a unit, while others take quite some time to find a way to integrate it into the existing curricula. One goal for the lessons we are designing now is to create them in such a way so as to align well to certain textbooks. I imagine it would be helpful on the site to search by textbook and see what lesson plans are available that directly connect to which units. 

     

    Thank you so much for your feedback!

     
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    Alaa Ramadan

    K-12 Administrator
    May 20, 2017 | 11:25 a.m.

    Many thanks for your efforts 

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 02:41 a.m.

    Thanks, Alaa. We love this work and its ability to reach so many students and teachers. 

     
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    kuldip singh

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 21, 2017 | 07:38 a.m.

    It enhances children's experience and captures their attention.

    They like to explore with the varying data. Finding value of apples- an excellent way to teach.

     
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  • Icon for: Kathy Perkins

    Kathy Perkins

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 02:39 a.m.

    Thanks for watching our video, Kuldip. Glad to hear you are finding the simulations valuable for teaching! 

     
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    kuldip singh

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 21, 2017 | 07:38 a.m.

    great simulations

    thank you

     

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.