Committee on Computers in Chemical Education Report, Spring 2014

The Committee on Computers in Chemical Education is a standing committee of the Division of Chemical Education, which according to the bylaws “seeks to encourage, publicize and support the development, implementation and assessment of computing technologies in chemical education”. The CCCE runs an annual Fall online newsletter, and as a service to the general chemical education community hosts the online ConfChem conferences, both of which can be accessed through our web site, http://www.ccce.divched.org .

The Spring 2014 ConfChem will be on the Flipped Classroom (organized by Jennifer Muzyka and Chris Lurker) and the Spring 2015 ConfChem on Interactive Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning (organized by Emily Moore). Additional information on these conferences are available in the ConfChem section of this newsletter.

The CCCE received an ACS Innovative Projects Grant to develop folksonomic indexing of the ConfChem/Newsletter archives. The objective of this is to bundle ConfChem papers and Newsletter articles around themes defined by social generated tags. We have created a Drupal 7 site in the Bluehost cloud to develop this technology and there are currently 331 papers dating back to 1984 posted at the development site http://confchem.ccce.us/. We are also attempting to find and digitize printed journals from 1978-2000, and would appreciate your contacting us if you have any issues which are not on the list at the development site.

In collaboration with ACS CINF the CCCE is organizing the first OLCC since 2004, and this will be on Cheminformatics. We plan to offer this intercollegiate course in the Spring of 2015 and 2016, and are looking for faculty who would be interested in offering this course at their home institutions. We have created a development site, http://www.olcc.ccce.us/ and further information can be found in the Cheminformatics OLCC section of this Newsletter.

The CCCE will hold an open meeting at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education and we welcome your participation. Please contact Bob Belford if you are interested in any of these projects, would like to organize a ConfChem, submit an article to our Fall 2014 Newsletter or join the committee.

Upcoming CCCE Sponsored Symposium:

247th ACS National Meeting, March 14-20, 2014 Dallas, Texas

  • Mobile Devices, Augmented Reality, and The Mobile Chemistry Classroom
    Organizers: Harry E. Pence & Antony J. Williams

    Abstract: Web-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers are now in the hands of the majority of students in the classroom and already have shown inroads into the teaching and learning process. Since most students always carry their smartphones, these devices provide constant access to web pages, podcasts, videos, and other instructional materials during lectures. Mobile devices are also a powerful vehicle for both markered and markerless augmented reality applications. While such devices may be seen as a significant source of distraction some teacher are starting to maximize the utility of these powerful learning devices while dealing with the challenge of minimizing the opportunities for students' minds to wander onto Facebook, other social networking sites and text/emailing. This symposium invites presentations that will review the present successes of the mobile-based classroom and discuss what the future may bring.

2014 International Conference on Chemistry Education (ICCE), Toronto, Canada, July 13-18, 2014

Symposium

  • Online Resources for Chemical Education
    Organizers: Robert E. Belford & John H. Penn, rebelford@ualr.edu , John.Penn@mail.wvu.edu

    Abstract:  This symposium seeks presentations on resources that can be obtained over the Internet, and ways they can be utilized for the teaching and learning of chemistry. We are seeking presentations that address perspectives of development and implementation of web based technologies. Topics such as how the open access nature of the web, and how social networking and semantic web technologies are influencing chemical education are also encouraged. The objective of this symposium is to provide educators and developers opportunities to share resources and experiences. This symposium is sponsored by the ACS-CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, http://www.ccce.divched.org/.

Workshop

  • Using PhET Interactive Simulations to Support Chemistry Learning Workshop
    Organizers: Yuen-ying Carpenter, and Emily B. Moore, University of Colorado Boulder, contact Emily.Moore@Colorado.EDU for further information. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop (preferred) or tablet to the workshop, if possible.

    Abstract: The PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder develops free online interactive simulations designed to promote student engagement, exploration, and inquiry (http://phet.colorado.edu/). The existing suite of over 30 chemistry simulations supports students from middle school to undergraduate levels in developing conceptual models of macroscopic and microscopic phenomena through inquiry. In this workshop, participants will explore several PhET simulations. We will introduce the research-based design of PhET simulations, and strategies for effective use for teaching and learning – highlighting specific teaching approaches that target common student difficulties and scaffold student understanding. Participants will then work in small groups to discuss how different uses of PhET simulations can address a variety of learning goals in the classroom, lecture, or laboratory. Additionally, we will provide guidance and feedback to participants for writing effective questions and activities around PhET simulation use that will allow them to integrate these unique tools into their learning environment.
  • ChemCollective Virtual Laboratory Workshop
    David Yaron, Michael Karabinos & Robert E. Belford  Carnegie Mellon University, yaron@cmu.edu, mk7@andrew.cmu.edu , rebelford@ualr.edu

    Abstract: This “hands on” workshop will provide chemistry teachers an opportunity to gain experience with the ChemCollective Virtual Laboratory (http://www.chemcollective.org) and ways to use this free software in their classrooms and labs. This Java-based Virtual Laboratory allows students to design and carry out their own experiments. Participants will learn how to incorporate any of the nearly 100 existing experiments into their class as either homework or pre/post lab activities. Training with the authoring capabilities will also be provided so that interested participants can develop activities for their own needs. An overview of results from research on learning in the virtual lab will be provided to aid instructors in using the lab in ways that are most effective for learning. Other materials freely available in the ChemCollective, including scenario-based learning activities and online tutorials, will also be covered in the workshop.
  • Navigating an Internet of Chemistry via ChemSpider and other Cheminformatics Services for Educators
    Organizers: Antony J. Williams & Robert E. Belford, WilliamsA@rsc.org, rebelford@ualr.edu

    Abstract: The internet has provided new global portals to chemical information and this hands-on workshop will introduce educators to the Royal Society of Chemistry’s numerous eScience projects including Chemspider, an online chemical information and curation service utilizing web 2.0 technologies and the Learn Chemistry website for educators and students. Participants will acquire accounts within ChemSpider, learn several compound search techniques to perform compound structure and substructure based searches, and search methods employing structural drawing packages.  Participants will gain an understanding of the ChemSpider data curation services, how to upload and obtain spectral and other data over the internet, and how they can use these in their classrooms for teaching purposes. They will also learn how gaming can be wrapped around chemistry data for the purpose of teaching and data curation. Participants will also be introduced to an international intercollegiate OnLine Cheminformatics course that they can offer at their home institution in the Fall of 2015. This workshop is sponsored by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education and further information can be obtained at http://www.ccce.divched.org/ICCE2014Workshops .

2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education,  (BCCE) Grand Valley State University, August 3-7, 2014.

Symposium:

  • Flipped Classroom
    Organizers: Chris Luker & Jennifer Muzyka, cluker@highlandschools.org, jennifer.muzyka@centre.edu

    Abstract:  The flipped classroom is a new hybrid model of teaching that allows active engagement between students and faculty members during class time, usually through the use of technological tools to present lecture material to students before the concepts are discussed in class.  Recently there has been significant media attention on the flipped classroom, which is an innovative pedagogical method used by educators ranging from elementary school through colleges and universities.  There are many different technological tools used to implement this pedagogical method.  In particular, some educators pre-record lectures of themselves presenting material, others use screen casts to convey information to students before attending class in order to facilitate more peer-to-peer learning, and some teachers use a flipped classroom approach that does not involve videos.  Ultimately, the shift in learning is focused on changing the classroom from passive to active.  The focus of our symposium will be about how teachers use the face-to-face class time gained by changing from a completely lecture based classroom.  This symposium is sponsored by the CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education.

  • Interactive technology in the classroom: Innovation, challenges, and best practices for student engagement and learning
    Organizer: Julia Chamberlain & Ingrid Ulbrich,  Julia.M.Chamberlain@Colorado.EDU

    With the growing number of available interactive educational technology resources, chemistry educators are confronted with both new challenges and innovative opportunities when integrating these technologies into classroom practice.  This symposium invites presentations on innovative in-class uses of interactive technologies by students, as well as implementation challenges and best practices for effective use. Interactive technologies can include student open-response tools; animations, simulations, and other interactive visualization tools; virtual open inquiry spaces; and others.  Presentations can focus on the use of interactive technologies to foster a more student centered classroom, enhance student engagement and learning, or provide formative assessment to students and instructors.  Research on technology use, discussion of implementation challenges in high school and university settings, and best practices for technology-specific facilitation are welcomed.  This symposium is sponsored by the ACS CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, http://www.ccce.divched.org/.   Submissions should include a description of the interactive technology being discussed and how it is used by students.
  • Web-Based Resources for Chemical Education
    Organizers: Robert E. Belford, John H. Penn & Jonathan H. Gutow, rebelford@ualr.edu,  John.Penn@mail.wvu.eduGutow@uwosh.edu

    Abstract:  This symposium seeks presentations on resources that can be obtained over the Internet, and ways they can be utilized for the teaching and learning of chemistry. We are seeking presentations that address perspectives of development and implementation of web based technologies, and their applications to classroom, hybrid and online learning environments. Topics such as the application of mobile devices, and how social networking and semantic web technologies are influencing chemical education are also encouraged. The objective of this symposium is to provide educators and developers opportunities to share resources and experiences. This symposium is sponsored by the ACS CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, http://www.ccce.divched.org/.

Workshop:

  • PhET Interactive Simulations supporting materials: Develop inquiry-based learning activities 
    Organizer: Julia Chamberlain, julia.m.chamberlain@colorado.edu.

    Abstract: The PhET Interactive Simulations project (http://phet.colorado.edu) has developed over 30 chemistry simulations (sims), which support student learning through scientist-like exploration and experimentation.  Sims make the invisible visible, incorporate multiple representations, and emphasize connections between real life phenomena and the underlying science. PhET sims are designed to be flexible tools, and can be used for classroom demonstrations, clicker questions, guided inquiry activities, laboratory exercises, and homework.  In each context, the supporting materials (eg. an activity sheet) can target specific process and content learning goals using the sims.  In this workshop, participants will use guidelines and existing activities to develop supporting materials and facilitation plans to couple with sims in their teaching.  This workshop is appropriate for those new to PhET, as well as seasoned sim users looking to design and receive feedback on new supporting materials.  This symposium is sponsored by the ACS CHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, http://www.ccce.divched.org/.

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