The Institute of Physics (IOP) has announced the launch of a brand new education website – IOPSpark – designed to provide online classroom resources for every aspect of teaching pre-19 physics.
In a single, easy-to-navigate destination, teachers can discover:
- The UK and Ireland’s most comprehensive set of free, quality physics classroom resources
- A carefully curated collection of themed research, news, video content and expert comment designed to bring classroom teaching to life with topical content
- CPD content including articles on developing professional skills as well as a brand new and constantly updated glossary of physics terms
- Research and strategies designed to help identify and address common student misconceptions
- Access to an active community of physics teachers across the country
The site is just one element of the Institute of Physics’ dynamic and rapidly growing education programme which aims to support teachers, schools and policymakers in creating the optimum conditions in which physics as a subject can thrive.
The UK’s most comprehensive set of free physics classroom resources
IOPSpark has been designed to give teachers, trainees and teacher trainers a one-stop-destination to access the best physics resources and thinking available. A growing bank of over 2000 free, inter-linked IOP education resources from lesson plans and teacher notes through to topical video content and student worksheets are available 24/7 and easily searchable by student age, physics topic or type of resource (eg. lesson plan or enrichment activity).
All classroom resources on the site are IOP-approved, themed by curriculum areas and have been tried and tested by physics teachers for their peers. Many of the resources also feature teaching tips and links to carefully selected further reading.
To make the site even more valuable as a time-saving way of enhancing lesson planning, resources are linked in ways that help users find related materials and navigate through sequences of activities.
The gateway to a thriving community
IOPSpark also provides the gateway to TalkPhysics – an active online physics teaching community. Here teachers can find a safe, friendly and knowledgeable environment in which they can share best practice, discuss opportunities and challenges they encounter and ask any questions around teaching physics.
A rich seam of research, news and content
The site gives time-poor teachers a single destination for accessing the latest research, news and content to help bring classroom teaching to life in topical, fresh ways.
An innovative area of the site is also dedicated to helping teachers identify and address common student misconceptions in physics.
Here teachers can discover links to current research, strategies and materials to help them address common misconceptions before they become entrenched or an obstacle to student attainment.
Charles Tracy, Head of Education at the Institute of Physics commented: “Teaching physics today is hugely rewarding. However it can be daunting to teach something new or to teach something familiar in a new way. We know it’s also challenging for teachers to stay constantly abreast of the latest resources, news and content, particularly when teaching and lesson-planning means time is limited.
“Our hope is that the new IOPSpark site will provide teachers with a trusted source of ideas and professional learning, whether they are looking for a quick fix or pedagogical contemplation. Some of the site’s resources are ready to use whilst others will allow users to delve a bit deeper and explore the best ways to present those ideas and develop their own explanations.
“By providing teachers with high-quality resources, open access to the latest subject thinking and by empowering collaboration amongst the physics teaching community we hope to help create the optimum conditions in which this fascinating subject can flourish in schools for generations to come.”
Jemma Duncombe, Teacher of Physics at King’s College School, Wimbledon said: “It’s invaluable to find all these resources under one roof. It’s going to be my starting point whenever I’m looking at a new topic.”
Alessio Bernardelli, Professional Practice Coach at CollaboratEd, commented: “It’s great that the very best of what the IOP has access to has been curated into easily navigable collections. It can be time-consuming to look through other sites and sift through what is worth using. Here you know you’re getting quality.”
See the website here for free classroom resources from the Institute of Physics.