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Detlef Kaack State Institute of Teacher Training and School Development Physics In-Service Teacher Training Hamburg GLOBE Germany Program Federal Project Manager Education Felix-Dahn-Str. 3 20357 Hamburg Germany.

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detlef kaack www globe edu de www schul physik de

State Institute of Teacher Training and School DevelopmentPhysics In-Service Teacher Training HamburgGLOBE Germany ProgramFederal Project Manager EducationFelix-Dahn-Str. 320357 HamburgGermany


Computer Assisted Activities in the GLOBE Germany Program and Physics Education in GermanyAutonomous Studyingas the Basis for the Use of Media


The computer is our latest attempt

to aviod learning...

Statement of an expert at a conference about chemistry at schoolin the Congress Center Hamburg CCH in 2000


The computer and the Internet are - no doubt - the most powerful media we ever invented.

Both can help us to learn.

But we have to know how to use them efficiently.

Bad software or bad concepts may as well confuse us and be counterproductive.

In this way all we know about books, toys and telephones applies to computers as well!

content of my presentation
Content of my Presentation
  • Collecting and processing data electronically at school
  • The use of simulation software as an element of free learning phases in physics instruction and the GLOBE program
  • Autonomous studying as the basis for working with classical and modern media


collecting data electronically
Collecting Data Electronically

During the last four years I got to know different data collecting systems more or less well.

The use is of interest for the GLOBE program as some systems are mobile and can measure data that are beeing taken in the frame of GLOBE or as part of further activities.

Other aspects are my teaching subjects physics and chemistry as well as the third natural science biology.

In Hamburg the board of school spent big money to equip higher schools (Gymnasium) with sets of „Cassy“ interfaces for student experiments, mainly for 13 to 19 years old students.

collecting data electronically1
Collecting Data Electronically

A selection of some major systems I know of:

  • Vernier system „LabPro“ (USA)
  • Imagilab interface for Palm PDAs and Visor (USA)
  • Pasco system (USA)
  • Leybold system „Cassy“ (Germany)
  • Phywe system „COBRA3“ (Germany)
  • Cornelsen Experimenta system „CorEx“ (Germany)
  • Conrad Electronic Multimeters (Germany)
  • „Gamma Scout“ Geiger counter (Germany)
vernier labpro
Vernier „LabPro“


  • USB and serial port, TI link, Palm link
  • Batteries and/or power outlet
  • Price OK
  • Many different sensors (Vernier, Pasco)
  • Data logger function
  • Calculator on board possible
  • Palm possible
  • Software „LoggerPro“ for Win & Mac, Language: English
  • Software for Texas Instruments graphic calculators
  • Standard in Bremen, Germany

Images by Vernier USA

texas instruments cbl2
Texas Instruments „CBL2“


  • USB and serial port, TI link
  • Batteries and/or power outlet
  • Price OK
  • Many different sensors (Vernier, Pasco)
  • Data logger function
  • Calculator on board possible
  • Connection to computers not directly, only via „TI Graph Link“
  • Software for Texas Instruments graphic calculators

Images by Texas Instruments USA

imagilab interface
Imagilab Interface


  • Palm link, computer via cradle (USB and/or serial, Windows and Mac OS)
  • Batteries
  • Different sensors (Vernier, Pasco), no digital readings like Geiger counters, photo gates, ultrasound meters etc
  • No own data logger function, but Palm always on board with data logging
  • Software „ImagiProbe“ for PalmOS, Language: English
  • The smallest system, easy to use, even in roller coasters...

Images by Imagiworks USA

conrad electronic digital meters
Conrad ElectronicDigital Meters


  • Serial port
  • Batteries
  • Price low
  • Only electrical values and temperature
  • No data logger function
  • Connection to computers, Windows only
  • Software for Windows, language German

A variety of digital electric meters available, some with automatic range selection, voltage, current, frequency, resistance, temperature, capacitance.These meters can be used in student experiments and alternatively as data interfaces!

geiger m ller counter gamma scout
Geiger-Müller-counter„Gamma Scout“


  • Serial port
  • Batteries
  • Only radioactivity (also alpha sensitive, integrated variable shields to filter alpha and/or beta rays)
  • Long lasting data logger function
  • Connection to computers, Windows only
  • Software for Windows, language German
  • A handy device to measure alpha, beta and gamma rays - calibrated. It monitors constantly, cannot be switched off, batteries last up to 10 years, LCD-display of different values like:pulse rate (Bq), present radiation (µSv/h), pulse count within a set time.
leybold cassy
Leybold „Cassy“


  • USB or serial port
  • So far only external power,battery coming up
  • Very tolerant and reliable
  • 2 inputs, relay and swichable power out, several sets can be added!
  • Special adaptor boxes necessary
  • Different sensors, only Leybold
  • No data logger function so far
  • Connection to computers directly only
  • Additional output device for active measurements, function generator
  • Software „CassyLab“ for Windows only, Language German
  • Standard in Hamburg, Germany

Images by Leybold Didactic Germany

phywe cobra3
Phywe „Cobra3“


  • Serial port
  • External power
  • Phywe sensors
  • No data logger function
  • Software „Measure“ for Windows only, language German, a variety of functions,software now free

A reliable and safe system, comparable to „Cassy“.No output function or function generator available.

globe and e learning

GLOBE and e-learning

For the use in the framework of the GLOBE program:

Data of budburst since the 1950s for many locations in Germany

„Umweltatlas Wasser“ / „Environmental Roadmap Water“ (multimedia hydrology and data management for chemical and biological water quality, developed for the international Elbe project)

Elbe-CD multimedia (end of 2003),

Simulation of geophysics „System Earth“ by

Materials for education for a sustainable development (several CDs, developed by schools in a 5-year federal model project)

Materials for efficient science education (Internet based, developed by schools in a 5-year federal model project)

simulation programs

Simulation programs

As an example for simulation software in physics or technology instruction: CROCODILE Physics.

Here some thoughts concerning simulation and „virtual physics“:



CROCODILE Physics is a simulation software that covers certain aspects of electrics, electronics, mechanics and optics



CROCODILE Physics is animated. It simulates light, electrical values, exploding lamps, motion, rotation, light and light beams etc.

It can be fun for children.


CROCODILE Physics offers many examples that work and can be modified.

It can well be used to let students find out things or build a more complex structure to solve a certain problem.

computer simulation

Computer Simulation

In a simulation real processes are made up virtually

(or even physically).

Simulations can never be the subject of research like it uses to be in physics experiments.

In simulations nature is not acting (nature is the subject of the science of physics) but a system is, a system that has been designed and put to work by humans on a technical or mathematical basis.

computer simulation1

Computer Simulation

So simulation is footing on models that man put up to be able to better understand and describe concepts of nature.

So the model itself is acting.

But simulations allow us very nicely to investigate and veryfy models.

computer simulation2

Computer Simulation

So pupils cannot use simulations to discover physical properties!

They cannot observe nature with simulations.

They cannot verify theories with simulations.

They cannot verify their models, only the very model that is the basis of the simulation itself (as far as they know it), and this is only possible in comparison with a real experiment.

So what is the use of simulations in physics classes?

computer simulation3

Computer Simulation

Following the real experiment:

The model is set up, the mathematical description has been discussed.

Post observation in the frame of the model

Checking out more varieties


Problem solution

„Research“ for properties in the framework of the model

computer simulation4

Computer Simulation

Before the real experiment:

The model is given, the mathematical description is discussed.

Checking out more varieties


Problem solution

„Research“ for properties in the framework of the model

Preparation for the experiment: Clarify questions,

check out properties

computer simulation5

Computer Simulation

Substitute of the real experiment:

The simulation is substituting the experiment

This is not physics.

No scientific work.

Offending of essential educational goals

In certain cases this may make sense but only if everything that just has been said has been accepted using other examples before. These phases should not be called „physics instruction“ but e.g. „simulation classes“.

computer simulations as teaching material

Computer simulations as teaching material

To implement „autonomous studying“ efficiently some conditions have to be established.

First of all it will be an established study culture in an inspiring environment and a clear goal.

Further the technical equipment and basic skills in working with computers are necessary.

And there has to be scheduled time for this “free learning”.

example of consequent use of autonomous studying sbw

Example of consequent use of autonomous studying: SBW

Private schools in Switzerland, SBW Romanshorn / lake Bodensee, consequently follow this concept.

From this concept many aspects are of value for our state schools in Germany and other states. To integrate the element of free / autonomous studying into our every day school concept.

Here a short presentation of the structure ...


SBW - House of Studying

Basic Idea :

  • We live and put to life:
    • autonomous studying in a
    • designed environment through a
    • respectful co-operation and
    • self-induced effort.
    • The SBW is no “school”, but a
    • competence center for
    • autonomous studying and
    • mistake management.
  • Every activity has to obey these principles, every teaching and studying has to happen according to this goal.

Structure and organization

  • All learning is result-oriented. Goals and dates are known by all „study partners“ (students) and exist in a written form.
  • Basis of communication is the TZI model („Themenzentrierte Interaktion“, Ruth C. Cohn).
  • A consequent feed-back-culture regulates the control of achieved knowledge.
  • Every “study partner” (student) has his own “study consultant” (teacher) for all questions of learning and life.
  • The supervisor of every department does the controlling and ensures the study structure.
  • All supervisors together form the general management.


educational goal the three basic elements
Educational goal :The three basic elements




(what is possible)

from 7s instruction to autonomous studying


The pupils have to

achive the goal

with the teacher

at the location

with the textbook

at the time

with the good results


From 7s instruction to autonomous studying






one way
One Way
  • From educational separation of power(teachers are teaching only, students are learning only)

to a “holographic acting” (comprehensive acting)

and a designed environment

  • From organization to self organization
design of the study environment

in gestalteter


Design of the Study Environment

consists of

  • Study Studio (location, time)
  • Study material
  • „Student Consultant“ (Teacher)
  • Study climate
  • Goals*
  • Study Environment
autonomous learning
Autonomous Learning
  • „Everybody should just be led to a point where he or she is able to think, study and work himself/herself.“
  • What does „one“ have to learn?

Orientation of teaching goals (curricula)at the key qualifications to manage life stepping into the 21. Century(according to the science section of the UNESCO):

autonomous studying key qualifications
Autonomous StudyingKey Qualifications


  • to life-long learning
  • to combine theory and practice
  • to plan
  • of co-operation and communication
  • to solve conflicts in an adequate way
autonomous studying key qualifications1
Autonomous StudyingKey Qualifications


  • to step in for own interests
  • to take over responsibility
  • to understand symbols and unexpressed hints
  • to set own goals
autonomous studying key qualifications2
Autonomous StudyingKey Qualifications


  • of understanding the technological and social basics of society
  • of endurance and concentration
  • to fit into different social roles
  • preciseness and creativity
  • Principle of reversability instead of training
  • Contract of education
  • Personal study consultant
  • Quality tests
  • Free chioce of subjects
  • Free choice of study partners
  • Team conference
  • Study community

in respektvollem


tzi as model of communication
TZI as model of communication




Be your own chairperson.

Disturbing events have the right of way.

study structure for study partners
Study Structure for „Study Partners“

Optimizing elements

Social learning, autonomous studying, coaching

Struktural aids

Lernatelier als Zentrum

Personal consulting

Input lessons

study sequence in the study studio
Study Sequencein the Study Studio

working, understanding, drill: 25 min

time: 30 min

protocol, planning: 5 min

Clean up after 30 min

Attention: No times of absence in this phase!

announcement of the goals
Announcement of the goals
  • Repeating of the goals by heart by the „study partner“ (student)
  • Announcement of the goals by the teacher
  • Reading the goals in the learning portfolio
  • Give reasons for the goals, connecting them to the UNESCO key qualifications if possible
material and aids in the study studio
Structured material

Unstructured material




Hands-on material

Study aids

„Study consultants“ (teachers)

Input lessons on video

Language bar

Live transmission


Study platform SBW (intranet)


Video conferencing

Material and Aids in the Study Studio
the t h ree topics
The Three Topics

1 = Simplicity of the basic pattern and self-resemblance

2 = Self-organization and result-orientation

3 = Self-optimizing and dynamics

1 simplicity as basic pattern
1. Simplicity as Basic Pattern
  • Input phases
  • Autonomous study phases
  • Respectful treatment of each other
  • Designed environment
  • Applies for all groups !
2 self organization and result orientation not to be separated
2. Self-Organization and Result-Orientation– not to be separated...
  • Create goals and keep them alive
  • Goals are accepted
  • The way to achieving the goals is an element of study culture
cycle of goals
Cycle of Goals

We have to have goals

The result is influencing

our next goals

We have to know our goals

The measuring has


Our goals have to be clear

The achieving of our goals must be measurable

from teacher to study consultant
Times of presence

2 weeks for working at structured teaching material

1 - 2 weeks in-service teacher training

Quality training

Wage: secondary teacher

No teacher‘s room

Coaching in the „study studio“

“Input” classes (30min)

Single consulting

Assistants are available (for copying, corrections etc.)

Trainees available

From „Teacher“ to „Study Consultant“
the most important elements
The most important elements
  • Study climate in human warmth
  • Result-oriented working
  • Autonomy, staggered in 3 steps
  • Free learning but regular tests
  • Silence and discipline are the basics
  • Suiting material collection
  • Appealing environment
  • Concept is very successful
  • Natural sciences have to be improved in this school type, this has not been done in a sufficient way yet.

Free apples for all,

filled up every morning

applications for e learning
Applications for e-learning
  • Establish a study climate (in “human warmth”)
  • Establish a clear structure, cross subject if possible
  • The basis is result-oriented working
  • The autonomy of the students/pupils is the basis
  • You give the input. Result: The goals are set for the students
  • Keep material in stock: Literature, work sheets, software, videos, cassettes, CDs, computers etc.
  • Give time for free learning phases
  • Be a restrained partner during the free learning phases
  • Clearly defined test phases to secure the standards
  • Appealing ambience during the free learning phases
  • Silence is the basic condition! Audio activities via headphones
  • Enforcement through the school management is positive