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  • 1. SimCalc Mathworlds umassd.edu Educational Software Review Tanya Flores Beyond Bits and Atoms Spring 2010
  • 2. Learning Problem? Students are not being exposed to important everyday concepts of rate of change, limits, accumulation, approximations until Calculus courses. ★90% of students never take Calculus
  • 3. Approach? + (Multiple) Computer Platform Graphing Calculator
  • 4. Approach? (cont’d) Multiple Representations Animations Modeling Simulation Curriculum Microworld
  • 5. Demo
  • 6. Evaluation User Experience Students observe a simulation and can change some exposed parameters. Curriculum Navigation Students can freely choose which models to explore and how to explore them. Approximate visual validation, either through the model’s visualization windows or Data Validation plots of aggregate results. Transparency of the code e code and the rules of the simulation are not accessible for users. Data Collection Data collection is automated; modelers design their own batches of experiments. Participatory Interactions Users do not engage in participatory interactions Graphical visualization with intermediate graphics: geometric, freeform shapes, simple Graphical realism effects. Visualization Dimensions Bi-dimensional visualization - 2d Modeling Methodology Modelers choose one phenomena and try to create a model of it.
  • 7. Salient Learning Less Salient Varying rate ★ Application of number ★ Limits theory concepts ★ Comparing / Interpreting ★ Families of Linear Functions Quadratic Motion ★ Describe relationships ★ Piecewise Functions between two variables
  • 8. Potential Drawbacks • Cannot manipulate code or create your own parameters • Non-intuitive placement of UI elements • Buggy - windows stick, application crashes (Demo version only?) • Lack of transitioning from platforms