August 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 14)
Strong Points: Free, interactive educational simulations, high-quality resources
Weak Points: None
Science educators are increasingly incorporating multimedia resources to help students grasp specific concepts in fun and engaging ways. The PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado provides free interactive simulations for teaching math and science that are based on education best practices rooted in data from the field of pedagogy research. The simulations cover five broad topics (physics, biology, chemistry, earth science, and math) and span grade levels from elementary school to university. While the animations can be downloaded and played on a computer, they are also compatible with mobile devices such as iPads and Chromebooks. (Site visitors can browse the collection of simulations by device compatibility.) Each simulation is accompanied by teacher resources such as video primers and teacher-submitted activities. To access these resources users must register for a free account.