During my childhood, in the very early morning hours, I used to help my mother, who was an exemplary elementary school educator, to prepare visualization aids—posters and cards—for her class. This is how I started developing an affection for visualizations and an understanding of their key role in education, especially in science and engineering education. I even embedded pictures and graphs in the Chemistry for Nursing Students book that I wrote as part of my Ph.D. research and in most of the papers I have published since.
Over time, technology has developed, and researchers and educators have increasingly recognized the importance and centrality of the various kinds of digital visualizations as a means to promote meaningful learning and deep understanding of natural and human-made systems and phenomena. Personally, I experienced this in the most profound way during the period in which I participated as the assessment leader in the Technology-Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) educational research project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the TEAL project, still and moving digital visualizations of magnetic fields constituted the basis for a transformative change in the way undergraduate physics is taught.
Nowadays, it is clearer than ever that beside the critical role of the teacher and educator to develop independent learners and evaluate them in multiple, non-traditional ways, digital visualizations and other technology-enhanced means of teaching are mandatory, indispensable components in any science or engineering course, including chemistry.
This book is a compilation of current research studies and perspectives from all over the world on how chemistry education benefits from, and can be advanced by, digital means to support students as they learn about chemical reactions and phenomena. This is a valuable resource for chemistry teachers and faculty, and for chemical education researchers who wish to keep abreast of educational technology innovations and familiarize themselves with the state-of-the-art in this fast-developing area.
I wish to thank Prof. Keith Taber and Prof. David Treagust for encouraging me to lead this endeavor and to Prof. Hannah Sevian, who introduced me to my co-editors Dr Courtney Ngai and Dr Gabriela Szteinberg. Together, the three of us collaborated with over 30 lead authors to complete this book. Thanks also to my Ph.D. student, Roee Peretz, who was most helpful in proof-reading the book. Last but not least, to my dear husband Prof. Dov Dori, thanks for accompanying me throughout our life.
Yehudit Judy Dori
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research
Haifa 320003, Israel