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PHET simulations - Work and energy
PHET Simulations - Work, Energy, and Power
Free and interactive simulations, provided from the PHET (Physics Education Technology) program at the University of Colorado, offer teachers fun and effective learning tools/lesson supplements for teaching physical phenomena and concepts like work, energy, and power.
What is this?
Free and intercative Java apps available online for physics students. Students conduct virtual experiements with interactive simulations that highlight core concepts in science and mimick real-world research and technologies.
Screen shot of PHET simulations Work, Energy, and Power Page
Screen Shot of PHET Work, Energy, and Power Page
PHET online simulations are written in Java and Flash. The simulations can be viewed and run on standard web browsers ( Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) that have either Flash or Java installed.
Application in Innovation:
The PHET simulations are an extremely useful, effective, and innovative tool for teachers. The simulations are extremely interactive and virtually appealing. The computer and graphic technologies involved with PHET will absolutely enhance student engagement in the online lessons. The technology also creates new learning opportunities for many students. The online simulations are free and therefore very easily accesible to students who may not be able to conduct similar experiements that require expensive equipment and long lab sessions to complete.
Applications in Efficiency:
First and foremost the virtual lab simulator cuts down teachers set-up, organization, operation, and cleaning time of the lab. This allows for more direct interactin with students as they complete the activities. The PHET programs are great alternatives to expensive lab equipment and experiments. Also with the simulator the teacher is not required to conduct the paramount demonstrations that are intrical to the understanding of physics concepts present in many lab exercises; the simulator will run a perfect demonstration every time and can be played and replayed to facilitate understrading.
Applications in Community:
The community aspect of the PHET simulations is definitely weaker when compared to its advantages in innovation and efficiency. The lessons are designed to be down individually and are not necessarily as socially viabile as a more traditional lab group exercise. However, the quick set-up and easy use may free time up for the class to work in groups in some other facet.
Required technical proficiency or other prerequisites
Computers with internet accessibility and either Flash or Java installed can run the simulations. The site is very user friendly and only fundamental internet skills are required to fully utilize the learning resource.
Compare and contrast with other classroom technologies
There are multiple other online sources that offer similar programs:
- the "Gizmos" offered by this site are helpful online simulations that branch many subject areas, as well as, are suitable for children in grades 3-12. However, this program is not completely free like PHET.
- this Norweigian institutes website offers advanced physics simulations for the serious physics student!
Limitations or cautions
The main reason to limit the use of PHET simulations is it's ease of use. The set-up and procedure of the experiment are quick and easy, but online simulations are not meant to replace lab experiments or real hands on research. While it is a great learning resource, PHET should be used as a supplement to a physics course.
For more information
- this is the PHET simulations home page.
- This is a direct link to the PHET-Physics-Work, Energy, and Power simulations page.
of PHET simulations
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