Teacher Review For PhET Interactive Simulations

This product provides a good supplemental teaching tool.

Megan T.
Classroom teacher
Balboa High School
San Francisco, CA
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 2
Pedagogy 4
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
I use this product primarily in the first semester of physics when I talk about kinematics and I need to show how the relationships between quantities changes graphically. It is generally only effective when I have solved an equation and want to quickly show an accurate representation of this line on my board. Students can use it on homework, but because there is no instruction for how to use it, some of my students shy away from using it on their assignments.
My Take
The PhET Equation Grapher should not be confused with the other PhET tools. While the grapher is a valuable supplement to other teaching tool, it itself does not foster a high level of engagement with students. That being said, there are other teaching tools that are offered on the PhET site that I use constantly in my physics classroom. I think that with additional support for how to use the Equation Grapher and potentially links to other PhET simulations that would make this grapher appear more applicable to the real world, this tool could be used to a greater extent by students than just simply as an augment for a teacher's lesson.