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What is EJS?

Easy Java/JavaScript Simulations is a software tool (of the type known as code generators) designed for the creation of discrete computer simulations.

A discrete computer simulation, or simply a computer simulation, is a computer program that tries to reproduce, for pedagogical or scientific purposes, a natural phenomenon through the visualization of the different states that it can have. Each of these states is described by a set of variables that change in time due to the iteration of a given algorithm.

A simulation of balls colliding in a box.

All this means that EJS is a program that helps you create other programs; more precisely, to create scientific simulations.

There exist many programs that help create other programs. What makes EJS different from most other products is that EJS is not designed to make life easier for professional programmers, but has been conceived by science teachers, for science teachers and students. That is, for people who are more interested in the content of the simulation, the simulated phenomenon itself, and much less in the technical aspects needed to build the simulation.

Easy Java/JavaScript Simulations is a modeling and authoring tool expressly devoted to this task. It has been designed to let its user work at a high conceptual level, using a set of simplified tools, and concentrating most of his/her time on the scientific aspects of our simulation, asking the computer to automatically perform all the other necessary but easily automated tasks.

Nevertheless, the final result, which is automatically generated by EJS from your description, can, in terms of efficiency and sophistication, be taken as the creation of a professional programmer.

In particular, EJS creates Java and JavaScript applications that are platform independent, or simulations that can be visualized using any Web browser (and therefore distributed through the Internet), which read data across the net, and which can be controlled using scripts from within web pages. (JavaScript simulations run in any standard web browser without further modification. Java applets require a Java plug-in installed in your browser.)

Because there is an educational value in the process of creating a simulation, EJS can also be used as a pedagogical tool itself. With it, teachers can ask their students to create a simulation by themselves, perhaps by following some guidelines provided by the instructor. Used in this way, EJS can help students make their conceptualizations explicit. Used in groups, it can help improve the students' abilities to discuss and communicate about science, learning to be scientist instead of learning about it.

EJS is very much neutral about the pedagogic approach you use in your teaching. Although we use it ourselves with a hands-on, minds-on approach, we respect any reasonable use of EJS and the simulations generated with it in class or online.

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Page last modified on November 02, 2019, at 10:24 AM