One of the things about this blog is that the content is pretty static. There’s just pictures and text. This is probably my own bias, because I’ve never had a problem learning things through reading. However the other day I got an email from a student:
The biggest roadblock I am facing is with media/technology. I have a documented learning disability and part of it processing things I read differently. It’s a different form of dyslexia. If I am reading about how to do this, then I struggle with trying to figure out if I have correctly read the order of the reaction. this is where visual aids become my lifesaver, since I can actually see the molecule, reaction, etc. in action and can apply the mechanism now that I have eliminated the issue of incorrect processing…. Do you know of any websites that actually show the reaction, mechanism etc., as media?
So I pointed her to ChemTube3D, a site run by Dr. Nick Greeves at the University of Liverpool. ChemTube 3D has animations for a large number of reactions in organic chemistry. In addition, you can use the software on the site to view 3D-projections of different molecules and manipulate them. Here’s an example for manipulating a molecule to be able to visualize R/S (note: this is just a screen shot , not a video).
Like I said, since reading has never been a problem for me, I’ve probably been biased against promoting applications such as this one. But for certain students – especially those with learning disabilities and difficulty with text – they can be a lifesaver. This is what the student wrote back:
omg! I am about to cry; This is EXACTLY what I needed. It’s like I keep studying and doing problems but I can’t visualize it well enough to thoroughly get the concept. Thank you so much!!!! I am sending the link to my lab partner and hopefully we won’t get a D on our next test.
So if this sounds like you, the site is well worth checking out. It’s completely free.