Calling all Science teachers, what is new in Actively Learn – PhET! PhET is a series of interactive simulations that includes virtual science experiments, demonstrations, and visualizations for math and science. It not only integrates into PowerPoint as an add-in, but it is now available in Actively Learn. Currently, five of the PhET simulations are available and include Energy Skatepark, Forces & Motion, Build an Atom, Gene Expression, and Neuron simulation. Students can participate in a real-time simulation or experiment using the software directly through Actively Learn with embedded questions!
There are several contents where these PhET simulations could integrate into the science curriculum as highlighted below. Each simulation includes guided questions to help students interact with the simulation, make predictions, and reflect on the process. The teacher can modify the questions or add more to better fit their class.
Also newly available is the ability to tag teachers and students in notes. When having a conversation in the notes, students can tag their teacher and/or classmates to ask questions or reply to a question using the @ symbol. As they start typing it will auto-populate students in their class. A teacher can also tag specific students to clarify information or even tag a co-teacher to draw their attention to a conversation. For more on using this feature, check out this information from Actively Learn.
Finally, another great differentiation feature is “Extra Help.” Extra help allows the teacher to add additional comments, summaries, explanations to notes and questions. Teachers will want to identify students who will have access to extra help in their class roster. There are several ways to integrate extra help. Specific notes can be designated as “extra help” by check-marking the box. Only students who have been selected to receive extra help will have access to these notes. Extra help can be added and in the questions and this feature is available under the options. An additional extra help box will appear beneath the question and teachers can add their support here. Another option is to add a text summary for extra help students. These are just some of the ways a teacher can differentiate for their students using Actively Learn.
If you have any questions about using Actively Learn in your class, please contact your Tech TOSA for support.