SchoolNet SA hosted the very first Finding and Using Science Resources Webinar using Adobe connect on the 28th of April 2020. The idea behind the lesson was to take teachers through an online classroom using PhET interactive simulations.
The interactive simulations lesson was not greatly attended mainly due to data constraints however; teachers who attended followed through and enjoyed the lesson.
The teacher who stood out during the lesson was Mr. Maweya from NM Tsuene High School, who was greatly excited about learning about parallel and series circuits using simulations. He was excited mainly because the simulation brought the subject to life and trying out new scenarios without wasting time was a bonus.
He felt that the lessons were an engaging, fun, and different way of teaching learners. Mr. Maweya was very keen that he asked and answered questions as well as challenged the facilitator to try scenarios that were more complex.
His request after the training session was to have a similar webinar where they would learn chemistry using simulations. He made this request because his learners struggled mostly with chemistry subject matters. He believes that simulations are a great way of learning especially where teachers struggle with resources for experiments.
Mr. Maweya loved how the demonstrated simulations worked because they permitted learners to think beyond the examples in their books and could have the opportunity to imagine scenarios and create their own scenarios testing how parallel and series connections work.
What was more interesting was knowing that the lesson could be recorded and shared with learners which meant that his learners could review the day’s lesson and come back to class with more questions for clarity. The advantage with such lessons also gives learners who may have missed class to catch up by viewing the recorded lesson then have a private one on one discussions with the teachers.
Being able to work in classrooms granted the opportunity of both teachers and learners to learn together and using STEM simulations will make the classroom fun and interactive.