OAPT AAPT Winter Meeting 2006 AAPT

Thawing the Frozen Curriculum

1. Computation Across the Physics Curriculum: Jan Tobochnik Kalamazoo College

Students often use calculators as black boxes, with no understanding of what the calculator is doing for them. Pencil and paper solutions are tedious and often of not much value. Experimental apparatus is more useful, but expensive. Computers used for simulations provide a good alternative, in collaboration with the student's brain. Computers all simulations which are easy to implement. They can be used to explore what-if scenarios, simulate real activities, and are cheaper than lab apparatus. Physical insight takes centre stage. Students can create models. Caution: do not use computers to replace real experiments.

2. Unleasing Action: Edwin F. Taylor MIT

You can find interactive computer software at www.eftaylor.com/software.

3. Making Quantum Mechanics Visual and Interactive Mario Belloni Davidson College mbelloni@davidson.edu

PER indicates that the teaching of quantum mechanics has not changed since it was invented. It is important to maintain connections with classical mechanics where appropriate. Do not draw wave functions in potential energy diagrams. Bring in current experimental results. Use physlet based animations. Visit the open source physics program at www.opensourcephysics.org.

4. Information Fluency: Pat Viele, Cornell

Educated people: -think critically -communicate in current forms -can get a first job -continue learning life long Information literacy is a set of skills that you need to find, retrieve, analyse and use information. Visit the Open Access Repository at http://dspace.library.cornell.edu/index.jsp.