Implementing Microsoft PiL in Australian Schools
Keywords:Information and Communications Technology in Schools, Teacher training, Education
In the present study we employ a combination of laboratory exercises and simulation. In particular we studied the case of teaching mechanical oscillations to undergraduate students of Polytechnic and Pedagogical departments. Simulations were performed using a general purpose package, MATHEMATICA®, which is widely employed in our departments, and presents some important advantages such as ease of writing mathematical relations, small extent of programs necessary for the solution, ease of creating graphical representations/animations. In the employed process an experimental setup of the physical system is constructed and then using a general purpose package students construct a model of the system that already know from the laboratory experiments. Using these models students produce solutions for various initial conditions, graphical representations of the results as well as animations corresponding to the time evolution of the system. The results show that the above process offers the students many different representations of the physical problem leading to a better understanding, contribute to the development of critical spirit and to the familiarization with the use of ICT.
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