SimBucket Team Makes The News!

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by February 26, 2015

Chris Bruce, Martin Kulak, Kevin Shane, and David Torpe were featured on Sunday night’s news broadcast on KTUU Anchorage for their work at the ASTE Conference 2015.  Check out the news clip on the KTUU website!

SimBucket Team on KTUU Anchorage


Chris Bruce Leadership Summit Introduction

Category : Uncategorized · (2) Comments · by February 21, 2015

Chris Bruce                                                                                                                Leadership Summit Intro
High School Science Teacher in Illinois – 8 years
Born and raised in Ketchikan, Kayhi graduate, MIT engineeering graduate, US Navy submarine officer, Navy satellite engineer

I teach at James B. Conant High School: 2400 students/200 staff, Chicago suburb, middle class population, 1:1 iPads for all 13,000 students in the district – Any questions about how to do this well, I would be happy to talk to you!

ipadsinphysicscropped

In late 2011, our technology coordinator asked us if we had any preference for devices for our upcoming 1:1 mobile device program we said we wanted Microsoft Windows devices. He said “tough – you are getting iPads, but it is okay because there is something called HTML5 that someone will soon make all of the tools you need!” Little did we know, that “someone” he meant was us.

I became an Apple iOS developer + Google Play developer + web developer, and have been trying to figure out the best ways to use the devices with my students, without waiting for someone else to build it!

Making learning personal, 2 main projects:

  1. Simulations in the hands of every student
  2. Shortening the time required for feedback, with individualized homework based on each student’s weak areas

 

  1. On your phone/iPad, www.simbucket.com -> “Go to the sims!” -> Accelerometer -> drop your device!
  • With iPads, no more groups of 4 where 1 person does, 1 person watches, and 2 people do nothing!

 

  1. My class vision – Wouldn’t it be great if:
  • Each student could take a completely randomized quiz on a variety of learning objectives, and…
  • The quiz were graded instantly, and…
  • Each student knew immediately when they got the question wrong and what the right answer is, and…
  • When they are done with the quiz, they are linked to a series of activities that are tailored to address their own weak areas, and then…
  • They can fix what they don’t understand within 1 class period, instead of waiting a few weeks to learn it right before the test and forget it immediately afterward?

 

This exists, and we have been using it for the past two years. Questionbank system. The ideas here aren’t new, but the system requires a few things to work:

 

  1. A stable wifi connection for EVERY device
  2. A stable internet connection
  3. Hundreds of questions tagged by objective, with different randomized versions of each question
  4. A server running a database of questions, creating quizzes for students, and tabulating results and reports as appropriate.
  5. A great set of “reinforcement” activities
  6. Most Importantly: A teacher that is willing to run around like crazy helping students on each of their individual assignments!

 

If any one of these are missing, the system doesn’t work. Our biggest challenge has been with wifi. Initially our district was concerned with the size of the broadband pipe to our school, but we are still fighting the wifi issue 3 years later. Here’s an exercise:

  • How many people in this room? How many devices in this room?
  • 28 student ipads + 2 teacher ipad + 29 cell phones, 2 teacher laptops, 50 student devices walking down the hall… you get the picture.

It is so important that we have the technology infrastructure to support innovation in the classroom. From a teacher’s perspective, it is so exciting to see students engage with material in new ways. Thank you


Simbucket Dev Team at ASTE Conference 2015

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by February 21, 2015

The Simbucket development team has arrived in Anchorage, where they will be featured speakers for the 2015 ASTE Conference “Game On!”.  They are looking forward to showing teachers from all over Alaska how to build HTML5 simulations and games using Construct 2.  Here is a teaser of a new simulation built entirely on the plane ride from Chicago to Alaska:

Center of Mass BuilderCenter of Mass Builder Simulation


Circuit Electron Flow Is Online!

Category : Uncategorized · No Comments · by February 5, 2015
Circuit Electron Flow

Circuit Electron Flow Simulation

 

Inspired by the work of Professor Bruce Sherwood to create a new, more intuitive way to teach electrical circuits, “Circuit Electron Flow” simulates the flow of electrons through a wire caused by electric fields created by surface charges.  Four different situations are presented, in order of increasing complexity:

  1. Electron flow through a straight wire
  2. Electron flow through a wire with a 90 degree bend
  3. Electron flow through a simple circuit
  4. Electron flow through a “snaky” circuit

This simulation deviates from traditional Ohm’s Law-based circuit analysis techniques, and shows students behavior of the individual electrons in a circuit.  Students no longer are asked to merely accept that electrons flow along a wire, but rather are asked to show *why* electrons would flow along a wire rather than merely away from the negative end of a battery and toward the positive end of a battery.

The simulation is designed to be simple enough to understand by itself, while the corresponding worksheet walks students through a set of increasingly complex scenarios to build their understanding of the physics behind electron flow in a circuit.  For an introduction to the mechanics of electron flow through metal, please see our “Drude Model Conduction” simulation.

 

Please let us know what you think of “Circuit Electron Flow” in the comments below!


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