How I Use It
This was used as a hypothesis and theory center. Students made predictions prior to using as to outcomes and what would happen. For a approximately 2/3 of users, this was too cumbersome and tedious to use. Students quickly lost interest since they were not successful in accomplishing what they set out to. They were quickly frustrated and did not have hints. Those that did enjoy using it were able to articulate precisely what would happen and why. They were also able to conceptualize their strategies and demonstrate higher order thinking. However, it was a very small percentage of students that did like and benefit from Apparatus.
I like the app, Apparatus. I think it is a different approach to learning concepts on gravity, force and movement. As a teaching tool, it does need a bit more refinement as I found it too time consuming to learn and get up an running. I think it is nice to have it as an option available to students, as many apps are similar, run of the mill and ordinary. I like the obstacle of failing and the many reattempts and the practice of trying to get it just right since these are key components in building grit, perseverance and resilience in our kids. This could better serve students by pairing up a frustrated student and a student that readily understands Apparatus in a reach one-teach one learning model. In addition, more technical support should be provided. As a teacher, I had difficulty staying motivated until a student explained what I would need to do in order to be successful. For purchase, I would avoid because of the fore mentioned problems. However, as a free app I would be inclined to make it available.