Teaching Strategies for Interactive Simulations
Interactive simulations are different from games, and therefore have different functions and purposes in the classroom. Simulations are not play-based, and students can’t input information and get feedback. There’s no way to win or lose at a simulation.
Simulations can be extremely valuable as teaching tools and as specific skill reinforcement opportunities. Here are some suggestions for making the most of interactive simulations with your students:
Project the interactive simulation as a whole class teaching tool. By showing the simulation on your IWB, you can model how to use it and facilitate students’ thinking.
Pair students up to explore the interactive simulation with a partner. The collaborative use of simulations will encourage students to verbalize their thinking and strategies.
Give students a specific purpose for exploring the interactive simulation. Challenge them to complete the entire thing, or just certain levels. You can also brainstorm specific questions you want students to be able to answer after using the simulation.