Currently, SimSketch is being applied in an activity at Nemoin Amsterdam as part of a master’s thesis from the University of Twente. In this thesis, we investigate the benefits of SimSketch for young learners when trying to learn about our solar system, the movements of the celestial bodies and about events like solar or lunar eclipses.
in our experiences with young learners using SimSketch, it became apparent that we need a little more visual feedback in the model. When the models become more and more complex, sometimes it gets difficult to understand why it is not working as you expected. To this reason, the feature “menu – Modelling – show behavior info” now gives you more visual information to comprehend a model at a glance, e.g. the behavior stickers are now outlined with the same color as the group of strokes they belong to.
a new version of SimSketch has just been uploaded. Besides a few small bug fixes, this version comes with a new behavior called ‘infection’. This behavior simulation the spreading of a disease, going through the stages ‘healthy’, ‘ill’ (objects are painted red) and ‘immune’ (objects are blue). Properties of the infection can be modified (e.g. the probability to catch the infection, the duration of the disease etc.) to investigate variation in an epidemic. Choose the ‘infection’ example from the menu for a quick start!
I just uploaded a new version of our modelling & drawing tool SimSketch. In the new version, I added one conceptually new feature: The distribution of elements before simulating. Using the “distribute” icon, you can create copies of an element before starting the simulation; which is particularly useful when you want to population your simulation world without using the “split” behavior (which would never stop creating copies…).
I used this feature to to create a sketched model of the famous Higgs field interpretation with Margaret Thatcher visiting a cocktail party. Go to the menu, chose “Examples – Higgs interpretation example”. When running, you should activate the “wrapping” feature to have particles that left the screen reappear on the other side again.
a few minutes ago, I uploaded the first public version of our collaborative drawing software. It’s a variant of a tool that has been used in experiments on “learning by drawing collaboratively”, see previous posts. We tried to make the public version as simple as possible – you can run it via Java webstart here and create or join a synchronized drawing session by using the “Collaboration” menu. The sessions are managed by a server at our university, but no private or personal data is stored – only the drawing that you created. An unlimited number of users can work on a drawing at the same time.
recently, a version of SimSketch in Dutch with an introducing Tutorial has been uploaded. It has been used at an open house day at the University of Twente and will be demonstrated at the ICTDelta in Den Haag tomorrow.
I’m proud to announce that SimSketch 2.0 is not longer ‘beta’ anymore! The webstart link now starts the new version, along with a new example that presents a variant of the famous ‘Game of Life’: Specify conditions for reproduction and for dying and see what happens!