Simbucket.com is pleased to announce that the HTML5 version of the Chemthink “Atomic Structure” tutorial and problem set is now online. Because the new version is designed from the ground up for HTML5, it means that students with iPads, iPod Touches, or phones can now run the tutorial in a browser without needing an actual computer. In 1:1 classrooms, this means students won’t need to go to the computers to log in. It should take approximately five minutes less to get students up and running with the tutorial.
In creating the HTML5 version, I tried to stay as faithful as possible to the original Flash version, only adding or making changes where it made sense. For teachers, this means any worksheets or activities you created based on the original should still work with the HTML5 version.
When a student clicks to launch the app, they are presented with a choice between the tutorial and the problem set. In practice, I have found that it is easiest to tell my students to open up and run the tutorial in one browser tab while running the problem set in another. If a student misses a question, I tell them to find the answer in the tutorial before clicking the “continue” button.
Because there is no student login required, students are able to get started very quickly. This also means that students will need to show you when they are finished with the problem set. I have included a large gold star on the completion screen so that you can very quickly glance at a student’s screen to see that they are finished. For students completing the problem sets at home, I have asked that they take a “selfie” with their completion screen.
Because of the amount of class time I have saved by not requiring a log in, I am strongly considering permanently eliminating the need to log in. The drawback to not requiring students to log in is that teachers will have no ability to track student progress, other than physically observing their students’ screens. If you can’t live without the student tracking feature, please speak up!
From start to finish, the “Atomic Structure” HTML5 port took 12 days to complete. I am hoping that I can maintain this pace for the remaining 9 tutorial/problem sets, plus the “Chemical Reactions” lab simulation. At this rate I should finish everything in about 20 weeks, roughly around the beginning of September.