EdTech and Chemistry

As we have been learning in ECMP 355, there are tons of amazing edtech tools out there that can be used in the classroom; there are communication technologies like Remind, Edublogs, and Kahoot, productivity technologies like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote, and presentation technologies like Haiku Deck, Nearpod, and Touchcast — just to name a few. While these tools are great, and ones that I will most definitely integrate into my future classroom, as a chemistry major and huge science nerd, I wanted to know if there are any technologies that are designed specifically for a chemistry classroom.  So, I have been doing some research.  These are a few of the resources that I have come across so far:

1. 3D Period Table via Chrome Experiments

I found this resource while browsing the #chemchat hashtag on Twitter, and it is way too cool.  This tool provides a 3D visualization of the periodic table.  When you click on an element, it gives you some basic information like the name of the element, its atomic number, atomic mass, and electron configuration.  You also have the option to “explore an atom” which provides a 3D atomic view of the particular element. Since atoms cannot be seen with the naked eye, students often think of atoms in terms of the static 2D Bohr Diagrams they learn to draw.  However, the “explore an atom” option would help students to visualize what an atom looks and acts like in 3D space. Overall, I think the 3D periodic table is a helpful tech tool for students, and it fits perfectly in the Atoms and Elements unit in the Saskatchewan Science 9 curriculum.


2. Interactive Periodic Table via The Royal Society of Chemistry

This interactive periodic table is similar to the Chrome Experiments’ 3D periodic table. This resource allows you to manipulate the periodic table to highlight the different groups, periods, and blocks.  You can also “adjust” the temperature to see how the physical state of each element changes.  If you click on an individual element, it links to a page that lists the chemical and physical properties of that element. One of my favourite features of the site is the “Visual Elements Images” feature in the top left-hand corner; when you click, it changes the periodic table such that each element is represented by a picture that describes the history how it was discovered. Super cool!


3. Interactive Chemistry Simulations via PhET

This website offers simulation activities that demonstrate different complex chemistry topics like concentration, molecule polarity, and acid-base solutions.  Aside from chemistry, the site also has simulations that explain concepts in biology, physics, Earth science, and math.  I think these simulations serve as a great learning tool — they allow students to explore and apply the content that they learn in class. Another bonus is that the simulations are versatile — they cover content that corresponds to science outcomes from grades 9 to 12.

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“Acid-Base Solutions” — an example of one of the chemistry simulations offered.


4. Science Journal via Google

Science Journal is another tool that I discovered through Twitter (hashtags are a great thing, aren’t they?).  Science Journal is a free Android app that turns your smartphone or tablet into a data logger that can record measurements from the device’s various sound, light, and motion sensors.  The data can not only be recorded over a period of time, but it can be plotted on a graph, annotated with notes and photos, and compared against other measurements taken at a different time.  I have not tried the app out myself, but I think it sounds like a neat edtech tool — it’s like having a lab notebook in your pocket!  Although Science Journal would work for a variety of experiments, I think it would be particularly useful in “Properties of Waves” unit in the new Physical Science 20 curriculum.

Know of any more good edtech tools to use in a science/chemistry classroom? Share with me in the comments!