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2012/05/17

科學教學的開放源碼模擬軟體:PhET

2012-05-17 貼出 (本文版權沒有)

這文章是阿原還在中研院資訊所創用 CC 實驗室服務時,寫在 台灣創用 CC  網誌 的文章 (原文聯結)。現在貼到自己的部落格。哇~~~ 已經兩年多了! 當時是 Ezgo7, 現在是 Ezgo9, 而 Ezgo10 正在規劃中!


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(本文以 CC0 釋出)

PhET 是一項由諾貝爾獎得主 Carl Wieman 於 2002 年在美國科羅拉多大學 (Boulder) 物理系所發起的計畫

到今日,PhET 已經有多種語言版本可 以使用。這些互動式的模擬教學軟體對老師講解科學概念很有幫助。老師們可以藉由 PhET ,講解如化學反應平衡或是量子力學等艱深的觀念,亦可以當作虛擬實驗,以取代危險或是昂貴的實驗器材 (如雷射或核分裂的裝置)。不但如此,PhET 最棒的特色之一是採用公眾授權方式釋出。可以直接執行的模擬程式(執行檔)採 CC BY 或是 GNU GPL 授權,而其原始碼採 GNU GPL 授權 (更多授權細節請參考 PhET 授權方式)。PhET 不限制商業用途,所以更有廣泛的應用可能。

2008 年時我與一些同好跟 PhET 團隊聯繫,開始進行翻譯的工作。在 2009 年 8 月完成了翻譯,並開始嘗試導入到中小學的課程。除了可以到到 PhET 官方網頁下載在地化的 PhET 程式之外,中文化的 PhET 網頁及相關套件已經整合到 Ezgo7 光碟 (Ezgo7 是以 Linux 系統為基礎、可直接開機使用的教育軟體光碟,其中包含許多教學使用的素材和軟體)。Ezgo7 由台灣教育部補助、中華民國軟體自由協會所製作,可能是眾多 Linux 套件中,第一個把教材整合到光碟的。這樣的好處是可以提供一個完整功能的教育光碟,而且不用擔心違反著作權法,因為其中收錄的套件及教材都是公眾授權的自 由軟體和內容。

我們收到很多使用 PhET 的正面反應與建議,很多老師肯定很 PhET,特別是 PhET 可以免費取得,又不用擔心智慧財產權問題。但是有些小學老師認為 PhET 比較適合中學及大學的課程,只有部份主題才能用在小學的課程。的確,在完成軟體介面的翻譯後,我們該想想如何進行客製化的工作。許多人目前對這個課題都感 到興趣,討論尋求各種合作的方式,來製作適合小學的教學主題軟體。請加入我們!


(This text is released under CC0.)
PhET was launched by Nobel laureate Carl Wieman in the Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2002.

To this date, PhET are available in many languages. The interactive simulations are quite useful for learning science. Teachers can use PhET to demonstrate difficult concepts (like chemical reactions or quantum mechanics), or to run virtual experiments instead of relying on dangerous or expensive equipments (like lasers or devices for nuclear fission). In addition, the best part about PhET is that it is open source. The executable is released under either CC BY or GNU GPL, and the source code is licensed under GNU GPL (please check the PhET licensing options for details). PhET does not have restriction on commercial use, thus it can be used widely.

In 2008, several colleagues and I contacted the PhET team, and started to translate about 80 simulations into the traditional Chinese language. In August 2009, the translations were mostly done and we tried to introduce localized versions of PhET to K-12 education in Taiwan. Besides downloading directly from the PhET sites, the simulation packages are also integrated into Ezgo7, a Linux-based Live CD enhanced with educational materials and applications. Ezgo7, which is supported by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan and produced by the Software Liberty Association of Taiwan, could be the first Linux distro that incorporates publicly licensed educational materials (e.g. PhET) into the operating system. The advantage of such Live CD is its all-in-one nature, which can be easily used in education. As all in the CD are free software packages and contents, surely there is no risk for any possible copyright infringement. They are all released under free licenses.

Many positive feedbacks and suggestions about using PhET are received. Many teachers really appreciate the great work, especially the CD with educational contents is free of charge and can be freely copied and used. However, some teachers of elementary schools feel that PhET is more suitable to high school and college courses; only some simulations can be employed at their classes. In deed, besides localization, one need also to consider "customization" for individual courses and classes. Many more people are now involved, and are in discussion on how to cooperate to customize packages for elementary schools. Join us!