E-learning with web 1.0


Sims, an abbreviation of "simulations", are programmes which model particular systems, whether natural (as in physics, chemistry or biology) or human (as in economics, psychology or social sciences). For more detail, see the Wikipedia entry on computer simulation.

Because they typically involve only student-computer interaction, sims are largely web 1.0 in nature. Sometimes the input required in sims may demand fairly complex choices - although typically between preset options - as in Virtual School (NCSL/BBC). The most sophisticated sims, which involve other participants or players, take the form of games and are more associated with web 2.0.

Many sims are available online. Some allow students to observe systems from different perspectives and angles, such as Planet 10 (a model of the solar system). Others allow students to see the effects of different types of input into a system; good examples include:

Good collections of sims and related activities can be found at:

It is important to note that many sims are now available in the form of mobile apps.

Credits: The image above right shows the CARET Sunny Meadows sim. I owe the Catchment Detox link to Nik Peachey, and several other examples of sims on this page to Steve Adcock's posting of 14 Apr 07 at Digital Chalkie.

Contact: There's no such thing as a finished wiki. Like all wikis, this one is a work in progress and there will be changes from time to time in organisation, content and links. However, don't let that stop you from contacting me at any time with comments, suggestions or questions.