Creating a community of Science, Math teachers and Programmers who are interested in visualizations

Hello everyone
This is Jithin. I’ve been the Google Summer of Code fellow for Processing Foundation in 2018. I’ve developed a project called Dynamic Learning which is a platform where teachers and programmers can collaborate to create lessons that make use of interactive visualizations.

About Dynamic Learning

Recently I’ve ported the project to a new framework and also has done so much work on improving the code quality and user experience. I think now it’s in a form which can be shared with alpha users.

Here is a sample workbook created in Dynamic Learning
Tangent and Secant
Trajectories

My idea is to create a very large number of visualizations in this sections called sim repo (Now it has only one :disappointed:)
Simulations Repo

Teachers can actually pick these visualizations and create slides to present lessons.

I would like to build a community of people who are interested in this stuff. Basically, we will be communicating with teachers, get their requirements and building more and more simulations which we will be adding to the site. And maybe even teachers can participate in the coding of visualizations.

I’ve created a repository for doing this discussion. I’m sharing it here.

If anybody is interested. Please give your ideas and suggestions. Help make the app better. Help improve the project by contributing. Here is the link to the organization.

@saberkhan @mcintyre @ashneel.das

Thanks
Jithin

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Hi Jithin,
Sorry for getting to this late. One area I can help with is connecting with educators. Perhaps having you lead a session at virtual CC Fest makes sense. I am thinking of hosting one in January. Let me know if this sounds of interest.
Saber

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@saberkhan That would be really awesome. I’m more than glad to lead a session on Dynamic Learning in the virtual CC Fest event.

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This is a nice idea! Interactive visualizations usually lead to better grasp of concepts. Understanding by simulating is a powerful paradigm. I would be interested in adding simulation/visualization sketches. This seems like a natural extension of the ideas in Daniel Shiffman’s book Nature of Code.

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Thank you for showing interest @wavesmith. Are there any specific areas that you are interested in? Like for example if you are currently learning or interested in topics like Linear Algebra, creating visualizations and simulations related to linear algebra will go in-hand with that right? If you have something in mind. Do let me know. Otherwise, we can have discussions for finding a suitable topic that you can work on.

In exploring generative art I find myself using a lot of trigonometry. Now that I think about it two aspects become apparent:

  • Create visualizations to illuminate the concepts of trigonometry (perhaps generate graphs of each side of the triangle w.r.t the angle)
  • Use concepts of trigonometry to create visual artifacts (which deepens understanding of functions such as sine, cosine etc.)

I must admit it got a little loopy there!
Perhaps the former could serve as conceptual tool to introduce the subject of concern, while the latter could be more like a creative exercise section for the reader, similar to the CAS exploration prompts in some math textbooks.

Also is your platform going to have a web editor where participants can contribute sketches? Something like openprocessing?

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@wavesmith That’s cool. I think trigonometry has good scope for making use of interactive visualizations to explain the concepts. I myself have tried to create a visualization. Here it is.


Please note that I’ve created a repository just for the sake of having discussions about the creation of interactive visualizations.

Perhaps we can create an issue here and continue our discussion there once you confirm the visualization that you want to make?

Yes, the participants can contribute the sketch. But for now, the sketch adding functionality is limited to admin users just to ensure that we have good quality simulations available. But we can definitely include a feature to give credits to the author.

Nice visualization! Let me see if I can attach an oscilloscope somewhere around so that as we drag the point C a graph is plotted in real time for the ratios CB/CA, AB/AC, CB/AB. That would then be introduced as sine, cosine and tangent. I see there is an additional content section, is this specific to your web framework to allow calls to and from the server?

Do you want me to add an issue for Trigonometry to the simulation-ideas github page?

Yeah sure ! that would help us to record and track work.

Yes that is used to communicate to the application. You can remove that.

Alright I have created an issue on the simulation-ideas page. It also happens to be the first issue I have ever created on GitHub hah!
Here is an initial version of the modified sketch:
https://editor.p5js.org/heerdyes/sketches/Z5jBpu-FS

Would love to be a part of this community. We can help contribute primary and secondary school maths visualisations and widgets. How many people are actively contributing at the moment? I see the project was started back in 2018.

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Thanks @StriveMath for showing interest. The project was started in 2018. Much of the work was involved in the app development rather than the simulations development. In the simulations development, we didn’t yet have many contributions yet.

One of the things that I really wish to do is, to create some sample video lessons and publish it just to show the power of this method of teaching. The idea is that, it should induce the thought in teachers “Wow, I wish I could teach this way”. At present, when teachers see videos like 3Blue1Brown, I think they are definitely feeling this. But there is no way in which they can do this, because they are animations. But in our case, we have the workbook/lessons available as slides which they could use readily.

This will help to popularize the project to bring in more teachers to teach using these resources and developers who are interested in making more and more simulations.

For this, we must choose a topic and identify all the areas where visualizations could be used and create video lessons using them.

Do tell if you are interested. Or feel free to tell if you are interested in contributing in some other way.

Thanks for clarifying Jithin, definitely interested in contributing my only hesitation is using the specific platform, as it locks people into teaching with that platform instead of giving teachers the tools to teach using the tools they want to. Maybe a simple repository of vanilla p5js widgets is a better way to enable the flexibility I am talking about.

I understand your concern, the reason why I created a tool like this is for the teachers to have an area where they could just jump in and teach just like power point presentation but with an addition of interactive visualization.

I don’t have any compulsion that we should have the simulations made available only through the platform. But whatever simulations that we have could also be made available in the platform.

Yes, in this case, we can have a repository of vanilla p5.js simulations.

Another feature that vanilla p5.js is lacking is, if we want to demonstrate different scenarios say for example while teaching projectile motion, he wants to demonstrate different velocities and different angles. We can have multiple slides in these cases. In each slide we will have the state of the simulation persisted.

I just want to create an area where teachers can create these lesson plans and store, organize, share them.

You may also read this

These are some other resources for interactive visualizations
https://sciencesims.com/sims-catalog/

http://galileoandeinstein.phys.virginia.edu/more_stuff/Applets/home.html

Hello. I’m playing around with educational illustrations as well. I started with comparing fractions. Ideally, I’d like the P5 sketch to be so simple that teachers could modify them in the classroom, to explore the visualized concept and practice programming skills at the same time.