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Logic Lab

Monday 13 October 2014

Simulating Logic Circuits

I just wanted to write a quick post about this tool I have been playing with for teaching logic. Here is the link to The Logic Lab. It is quite self explanatory, but essentially, you get make some simple logic circuits using AND, OR and NOT gates. you can have multiple inputs and essentially build logic circuits that model the kind of compound logical statements that students are required to understand on the Mathematical Studies Syllabus. I have been occupied by this site and its potential for a week or two already and think it is a great example of the process teachers need to go through in planning lessons and developing activities!

I was interested straight away in the ease with which I could build and manipulate logic circuits and definitely feel there is potential to help students understand symbolic logic. I am sure there still is, but my first few attempts have not gone so well. This is such a key feature of activity design and development. You have to put ideas in front of students to get a sense for how they will react to them. Pretty much every activity on this site has been through this process and taken time to develop in to what they have become. I love this challenge of thinking about how to present ideas to students in a way that both appeals and engages them. It can be disappointing when it doesn't go as planned, but equally exciting when it does. I will pursue this one, because I am certain that there are some good possibilities.

Here is a list of things I have been thinking about and experimenting with!

  • Human logic gates - drawing some big ones on the ground and getting the students to be the inputs being either on or off. This could produce some nice pictures and video.
  • Modeling compound logic statements with logic circuits.
  • Getting students to come up with the idea of truth tables themselves as a way of recording all the possible outcomes.
  • Using logic circuits and their outcomes to generate and demonstrate the idea of 'Logical Equivalence'
  • Using logic circuits to demonstrate tautolgies and contradictions.
  • Using logic circuits to model, inverse, converse and contrapositive.

All if this is likely to appear as an activity or series of activities on the Logic, Sets and Probability activity page eventually. In the mean time I can highly recommend that you have a play!


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