How I Use It
I loved The Interactive Periodic Table. The videos were a great way to engage the students, David Pogue is informative, funny with a dash of middle school humor (He breaks a sample of high tech glass in the Silicon video). The videos are of enhancements of the traditional information for each element. For example, Pogue visits a gold mine and watches the process for the element Gold and he visits a futures market for Copper. I used the videos as classroom starters to get a discussion going. The Periodic Table was also used when my students began researching their assigned element for a pamphlet and model project. Graphics are great and easy to use, the site is easy to maneuver around.
The Essential Elements portion works for higher level students who already have a fair understanding of the structure of the atom. I like how he shows different molecules. However, the building an atom in which students place protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom, has a laser like sound that is very distracting and once students found that sound there was no stopping them! Once you add a proton, you cannot see it - which makes sense for it is small- yet for a beginner this is not very useful and results in just a lot of noise there is a table to keep track of protons etc but it is very small. For advanced learners, however, building larger molecular models is interesting but only in a playful way. I would use this section as a short exploratory activity for advanced learners.
I like this product. It is easy to use. The Periodic Table portion is a wealth of information and engaging videos. It is great for a class setting in which the teacher presents a short video to start a discussion. In small groups, it can be used as a jigsaw to investigate a given set of elements and in an individual setting a student can explore at their own pace and watch videos repeatedly to pick up information at their own speed.
It would be great to add a section for beginners to create atoms in which individual protons, neutrons and electrons were shown as they were added to help the students visualize the atom.