Let me introduce you to a great tool that kept my attention: Algodoo. Algodoo is a 2D-simulation software whose purpose is to help people learn physics in an interactive and fun way. You can create your own world of physics: boxes, squares, circles, gears, etc. To create a circuit, you only need to click on objects and drag them on the screen. It is really easy to understand and manipulate. You may also save your own circuit and show it to other Algodoo users. There are more than 50 000 saved maps in the Algodoo repertoire.
Algodoo can be used in classrooms by teachers. For example, they can conduct experiments and create lesson plans. It has been demonstrated than Algodoo is one of the simpliest and funniest way to learn physics for students. Because it is in 2D, it is way simplier for students to learn physics without the difficulties encoutered in the 3D effects. It is also easy to create activity with Algodoo: Students are told to model their learning with the software. That being said, it is easy for the teacher to notice poorer students in class because he can see it through the software.
Algodoo is known to be a great tool to help students better the world. They can be shown a real-life problem by Algodoo and they must team up to learn from other and to solve the problem.
It is a very great tool to enhance creativity and critical thinking, which are specific competencies for students.
Algodoo is a great example of gamification. It is like a little video game, but for educational purposes. That being said, students are more motivated to work with others to learn physics. Algodoo is known has a « sandbox » game: this is a game where you can create your own map. Students like to create their own stuff.
Cooperative Learning Teams
According to many forums and reviews, Algodoo is considered a key in the success of Cooperative Learning Team. It is a great tool to enhance students’ participation and, therefore, enhance students’ knowledge of physics.
ESL teacher point of view
As an ESL teacher, I wish I could be a physics teacher to use this software. When I was at high school, I liked physics, but I wasn’t motivated because everything was on the board or in books. This software would have changed my thoughts about physics. Because it happened to me, I would say that I’m not the only one. Algodoo is clearly a great tool to enhance students participation, motivation, and teamwork. Even if I did not find a source about it, I’m sure Algodoo is good to improve students’ behavior. When students are told to work in teams and on a screen monitor, its hard for them to be distracted because it is two things which makes them happy: Working in teams and video games.