“Teacher primers” on physics PhET sims published!

by Stephanie Chasteen on August 5, 2016

Over the past several years, I’ve been working with the PhET Interactive Simulations to determine how best to do video “walk-throughs” of their simulations for teachers, showing the main features and how they can be used in a teaching setting.  We call these short videos “teacher primers,” and I’ve got a set of them that I’ve made up online now that I wanted to share:  (note that you will need to be logged into the PhET site to view them — that’s to keep students from short-cutting the learning process by looking at the primers.  Click on “for teachers” to find the primer.).

  1. Color vision
  2. Resistance in a wire
  3. John Travoltage
  4. Balloons and Static Electricity
  5. Faraday’s Law
  6. Wave on a String
  7. Ohm’s Law (coming soon)

It was a great pleasure to work with master teacher Mike Dubson on most of these.  I am but an instrument, bringing his great ideas to life.  There are also other great primers out there on a lot of other HTML5 sims.  We certainly learned a lot while we were putting these together, both about the technical requirements of making a walk through, but also how to guide the viewers’ eye as you talk them through a visual landscape.  These are fun to make, but more work than you’d think!  If anyone needs access to our guidelines for doing these, just let me know.



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