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bronstein's picture

Better than Scratch

The little "flash" program that we used this morning on physiology is one of the most useful things I've been exposed to during this institute.  I can import this as is right into my lesson on barometers.  There is a bit of interactivity in the lesson I have now, but this gets the kids working interactively with the computer.  It can involve all the kids totally instead of just those whose attention I can keep for the whole process.

I'm still debating whether I should be having the kids do it at home and then having them write up a response . . . or whether we should move the class into one of the computers rooms so each student can have his/her own machine at the same time.  I don't trust bringing in the computer cart b/c every time I plan to use it, I find several of the machines are dead or the school district's wireless system "just went out."

There is no way that I am currently capable of preparing anything that complete in flash or Scratch or Alice or NetLogo.  Even better:  I don't have to.  It's already done.

What I find particularly good is that it is recursive and diagnostic.  It explains why the student's answer is right or wrong before moving to the next level.  That's a very necessary but rarely included feature in a lot of eduware.

The only item I can complain about is the theory given for the the slowing of flow due to the constriction placed on the pipe.  However, I can use that by telling the students that there is a misconception included in the program . . . and that I will give extra credit to the first team that finds and explains it.

And as for model building, this program allows me to have the students create a model and then illustrate to them immediately how a model can be extended to help them understand and absorb "new knowledge."

Thx Peter.

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