What is a good use of digital technology in the math and science classroom?

I believe that the good use of digital technologies would help students learn science and math in more engaging and challenging ways.  For example, interactive virtual simulations and augmented reality would help students experiment and understand scientific concepts more inquisitively, in simpler and more engaging ways. Imagine that students can run chemical reactions or examine chemicals properties in the virtual environment. That would let them explore their findings further and apply the findings in real life settings to confirm the acquired knowledge.  This will also allow students to correct their privately held views or misconceptions acquired during science and math classes.

YooYoung

2 comments

  1. Hello YooYoung,

    I am also a fan of simulations that allow students to explore the relationship between parameters in a model. I find the main advantage to be the immediate feedback that a good simulation gives. In debate, some of my science colleagues would criticize the exclusive virtual exploration of phenomena because it reduces discovery to a one or two modes (sight and sound). There is concern that real sensory exploration of “actual chemicals” etc. should not be ignored. Specifically, things like smell, lustre in different lighting conditions, density, techniques that require fine motor control…all the edges that mark the differences between real and virtual. Although I’m sure most teachers would entertain a mix of real and virtual, an online biology course may only offer virtual dissections or none at all. Do you think that something meaningful is lost in that case?

    1. Hi Michael

      As far as I know, current technology is already working on the sensory input of virtual reality. I don’t think the technology has been integrated into any educational settings, but there is something called “FeelReal VR Helmet” (https://vrworld.com/2015/03/11/feelreal-brings-sense-of-smell-to-virtual-reality/).

      I would not think that every lesson requires full sensory experiences. For example, some students could benefit from the full sensory VR feature as an enhanced learning experience in a chemistry class. However, some students might be disturbed by the smell of chemicals. That would prevent them from focusing on learning. If then, the full sensory inputs reduced the meaningful experiences/learnings for some students.

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