Free Virtual and Interactive STEM Activities with PhET Interactive Simulations

Do you find that some students need hands-on opportunities to interact and experiment with concepts and content?

Simulations are very powerful tools for students to transform knowledge into action. I recently came across a great site designed by the University of Colorado called PhET.

The site is home to free and interactive research-based science and math simulations typically designed for older grades! Many of the simulations are designed with HTML5, which makes it perfect to use on any device! Just keep in mind that there are some simulations that still run off of Java.

Here is the link to a database of all of the free simulations available for all to use and categorized by subject, topic, grade level, and language.

Worried about accessibility? This tool is perfect for learning environments designed to meet the needs of all students! The following link provides a list of accessibility features and simulations containing these features.

Dotstorming: A Free Tool to Poll and Offer Choice

I'm always looking for ways to add choice into the classroom or professional development. There are a variety of great strategies and tools out there to enhance student choice, such as Google Forms, assignment menus, and choice boards.

One of my favorite free tools is called Dotstorming, which combines the power of polling with virtual post-it notes like Padlet.

Create Your Board

First, create a Dotstorming board. Your board will contain a variety of cards and images for participants to vote on. There is even an optional chat feature, which you have the choice to enable or disable.

Create Your Cards

Second, you will add cards (containing text) or images (containing images and text) for participants to vote on. You can even add links to YouTube videos. For example, you might want to provide descriptions of the topic that you would like to vote on.

 Share Your Board

Finally, you will share your board with participants. Simply, click on the share button and you will receive a URL and embedding code to place on your website. When participants receive this link, they can instantly have 3 votes to start the voting process!


There are a variety of other features and settings, which make this tool amazing! Want to learn more or see it in action? Check out my tutorial video below:

Knowt - Notes, AI-Generated Quizzes, and Awesome Way to Retain Information

Want a great way for students to take notes and better retain information Knowt is a free note-taking tool, which uses the power of AI to help students review notes in a quiz format!

I am always amazed at how AI is changing the way we do things. Its use in education is changing the way that students learn and how we address their needs. This use of technology can be useful in a variety of ways. Let's check out why I love this tool!

What do I like about it? 

There are many things to love about this tool. First, it syncs across multiple accounts and devices. Whether you are using a Macbook, Chromebook, iPad, or Android device, you can use this tool!

Secondly, it connects to your Google account, making it easy to import notes from Google Docs. Plus, its simple interface makes it easy to use and access for students of all grade levels and abilities.

Finally, there is nothing that you have to do to generate the quiz. Simply choose the Quiz button in the top and Knowt automatically generates multiple-choice or fill in the blank questions. Don't like a question? You can give Knowt feedback so that it can generate better quality questions.

Want to see how it works? Check out my brief tutorial below:

Infuse Google Keep into Slides and Docs to Save Time!

Did you know that you can easily integrate Google Keep into Slides and Docs? Imagine taking a few notes that you want to add to an upcoming presentation or agenda later. Use Google Keep to jot down your ideas and transfer it to Slides and Docs to make your ideas come alive.  Instead of copying and pasting, you can drag and drop!

The Google Keep icon inside of Docs and Slides will allow you to open up your notes in Keep and embed them directly into a document or slide. It's effortless to use and could save time for you and your students.

Want to see how it works? Check out my 2-minute video:

5 Tips for Engaging Learners with UDL

Phillip Schlechty (2011) theorized that the highest levels of learner engagement require learners' full attention and commitment. While ...