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chemeddl.org - Give Your Chemistry Class a Boost

The chemeddl.org website features online web apps, courses, interactive graphics and many other resources for teaching students the vast majority of core chemistry principles.

Unlike other subjects like biology or calculus, the "answers" to Chemistry questions aren't always so cut and dry. Understanding Chemistry involves understanding the makeup of molecules, the reactions produced when compounds are combined, and an appreciation of many other elements of the molecular world.

It is a subject that his mathematical, graphical and at times very complex. Teachers and professors need as many tools at their disposal to present the material to students.

One of the best resources for educators that teach Chemistry is a professionally made website called ChemEd DL, which stands for Chemical Education Digital Library.

The website features online web apps, courses, interactive graphics and many other resources for teaching students the vast majority of core Chemistry principles.

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Main ChemEd DL Screen

You'll see just how much is available on the site just from the main page alone, where you'll find a scrolling view of some of the top web apps and popular pages available at the site.

The menus are also chock-full of resources including the complete collection of tools and educational resources available at the site, access to other Chemistry online communities, and a list of valuable online services hosted either at ChemEd DL or other similar sites.

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Periodic Table Live!

One of the most valuable web apps on the site, particularly for students that are first learning the periodic table, is "Periodic Table Live!"

This web app lets students click on the interactive periodic table, and then access a full encyclopedia-like page filled with facts and information about that element.

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Models 360

Information includes the basics like the element's atomic weight, but it also details about the history of the element, its discovery, and other interesting descriptive facts about it.

For students that desire a little bit more interaction with the learning process, you'll want to introduce them to "Models 360".

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Models 360

With the interactive Models 360 tool, students can select what components of the display they want to show - like the bond length, angles or molecular dipole - and they can also spin the molecule to see it from all angles.

It is essentially a virtual model of molecules that can be viewed from 360 degrees, with dropdown boxes for additional information about electrostatic potential, molecular vibrations, symmetry elements and molecular orbitals.

Another great resource on the site is the "stereochemistry tutorial."

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Models 360

This tutorial walks students through lessons that help with understanding stereochemistry, including some very impressive 3D models that you can actually rotate in different directions using just your mouse.

Probably the most impressive area of the site, and surely one that younger students will love to play around with, is the Virtual Laboratory.

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Virtual Laboratory

In the virtual laboratory, students have the opportunity to mix together chemicals and compounds of all variety. There are lab tools like weight scales and Bunsen burners as well. Information on the right side tells you the current status of your solution, including the chemical breakdown, and you'll also see indicators that show PH level and temperature.

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ChemEd Courses

Of course, online applications and tools are fun and can help inspire students to learn more about Chemistry, but the real learning begins when students work through the courseware available at the ChemED DL website. The site includes an entire library of Chemistry courseware to be used to supplement classroom materials.

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Chemistry Communities

Educators will also enjoy browsing through the "Communities" menu, where there are other Chemistry enthusiasts and professional organizations available to help educators produce the most effective Chemistry curriculum for their students.

Another very impressive section of this website is the "Pathways" area. In Pathways, you will discover the ChemEd Digital Library, which is essentially a collection of digital "Textbooks" of sorts.

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Chemistry Textbooks

These textbooks are written and formatted nearly identical to any Chemistry textbook that you would find in any classroom. The difference, of course, is that these are perfectly free.

ChemEd DL provides teachers and professors with a very valuable tool to teach Chemistry in the classroom. It could also serve as an excellent resource for parents that home-school their children.

Give ChemEd DL a try a try in your classroom or in your home, and watch how interested in Chemistry your child or your student becomes.

Written January 30, 2012 by Ryan Dube


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