The Basis for Selection of Simulation Software Used in Teaching Physics at High Schools

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The basis for selection of simulation software used in teaching physics at high schools and overview of EJS

TS. Nguyễn Bảo Hoàng Thanh, Ths. Đỗ Khoa Thúy Kha

ABSTRACT
Using virtual experiments, simulation experiments in teaching physics is needed and very important. This paper presents the basis for choosing simulation software used in teaching physics at high schools. The basis is based on the general requirements for virtual experiments, simulation experiments used in teaching, and the requirements that a simulation software used in teaching has to ensure. That is the simulation experiments must be accurate, scientific, pedagogical, and aesthetic. The experimental design softwares must have a wide scope, must be simple and easy to use, must create experiments which are precise, aesthetic, lively, easy to handle, easy to customize, and can be used simply. Simultaneously this article briefly presents the EJS, which is a simulation software used in teaching, which has many advantages.

Introduction
Physics is an experimental science. Therefore, the experiments play an important role in teaching physics. In view of teaching theory, the experiments are means to receptive knowledge. They are means to check the correctness of knowledge which has been gained. Beside, the experiments are means to use knowledge gained in practice and are a part of the methods by which we perceive physics.

However, the using of experiments in teaching physics has some difficulty: experiment equipment is damaged; the happenings and the results of the experiment are difficult for students to observe; the experiments happen too rapidly or too slowly; some experiments can not be done in the classroom and difficult to succeed. To solve the difficulty, in practice, teachers use virtual experiments, simulation experiments in teaching physics at high schools. Today, there are many softwares to design virtual experiments, simulation experiments. Each software has its own advantages and limitations, the research about basis for selection of simulation software used in teaching physics will help teachers choose the right software in teaching.

The requirements for virtual experiments, simulation experiments in teaching physics

+ The simulation experiments must be accurate and scientific: they describe objectively physical phenomena; the simulation experiments have a same results as real experiments; and, when the simulation experiments happen, they have to succeed immediately.

+ The simulation experiments must be pedagogical: every simulation experiment has to have certain pedagogical intentions. In each experiment, the factors that need to survey need to be highlighted in a dexterous way; the factors, that are not necessary, be removed to reveal the nature of the experiment.

+ The simulation experiments must be aesthetic: it means that the images must have reasonable size, color is coordinated harmoniously, the conversion process occurs naturally, as if it were real. So that, the simulating experiments attract attention from students.

The experimental design software used in teaching physics

The concept of experimental design software
The experimental design software is a computer programs that allow users to create experiments, the physical phenomena on computers using the commands and the algorithms. The experimental design software used in teaching often contains a library of commands, algorithms and images. The users can use this available library to create the experiment easily. Simultaneously the experimental design software also allows users to create images, which are not available in the library, or use the new commands and new algorithms to make their experiments. It means that, using the experimental design software, users can create the desired experiments using existing libraries or creating their own necessary commands and algorithms.

The requirements for experimental design software used...
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