Science Teachers Familiarity of and Interest in Computer Simulations, Animations, Visualization, Modeling and Virtual reality
Friday, March 11 1:30 PM-2:30 PM Location: Bellmeade
Abstract: This study explored in-service science teachers’ familiarity of and interest in computer simulations, animations, visualization, modeling and virtual reality. A sample comprised twenty two teachers in the Midwest of the USA. All the teachers participated in a summer workshop on how to integrate computer simulations, animations, and visualizations in middle and high school science teaching and learning. During the workshop teachers were introduced to existing computer simulations and animations on free open sources. They learned how to adapt simulations and animations for their grade levels. They developed lessons to demonstrate their skills for integrating animations and simulations. Data was collected through a questionnaire. Results show that pre-service teachers reported higher familiarity and interest levels in computer simulations and animations. However, there were no significant differences between pre and posttests in terms of teachers’ interest in simulations and virtual reality. The findings have implications for science teaching, learning and teacher education.