Doug Ragan's blog

Not All Periodic Tables are the Same?

periodic table apps

Upon sharing my array of apps with some future chemistry teachers, they asked why so many Periodic Tables? My response was “Well not all periodic tables are the same”, upon which was followed by several blank stares...Let me explain: I currently have the following periodic table apps loaded on my iPad...

Building Atoms: One App at a Time

Build an Atom apps

In my high school chemistry class, a unit we cover is that of atomic structure. In particular, given an elements symbol, mass number, atomic number, and charge, the objective would be for the student to determine the atoms number of protons, neutrons, and electrons. I have several apps/program suggestions that can be useful for this purpose.

Camtasia for Mac update

Camtasia update

      For anyone out there looking to do any screen recording may have already invested in Camtasia. If not, I highly reccommend investing in it. I just ran the latest update for Camtasia for mac and it now offers the capability to record directly to your mobile apple device.

Man I Love Chemistry and Those Teachable Moments.



If you are like me and pretty much what seems like ALL of my high schools students, then you probably have a mobile device near you and you are also aware of the effect water has on turning that most precious piece of  “I can’t live without it” into a paperweight. 

Representing the Macroscopic, Particulate, Symbolic, & Real World Representations of Chemical Reactions.

 Last year while attending the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at GVSU I had the opportunity to hear a talk that showed a video of a chemical demonstration showing the burning of magnesium metal.  We have all seen many of these videos (thank you YouTube) and probably have performed this demo for our own students many times.  During the video it may have been represented with a chemical equation followed by the students being asked to balance the equation or maybe even predict the products.  Although the use of video including the showing of the equation nicely represents the macroscopic and symbolic representation, what was so unique about this particular video is that it also included the particulate representation embedded on top of the video of the demo.   This was the first time I had seen the particulate level representation done like that and so I was intrigued in wanting to find more of these representations.  

App review – Cymbal by

In my high school chemistry classes, I stress the use of units and the use of written chemical formulas to be represented properly.  It is important to me that when a student expresses the formula of a chemical either in their data or in a balanced equation that they represent it correctly.

The Atomic Dashboard

The Atomic Dashboard

If you are on Twitter and follow #chemchat, you may have recently seen some beautiful, rotating 3D atomic and molecular models from Dave Doherty @atomsNMolecules. I was curious about these models and after contacting Dave, he introduced me to The Atomic Dashboard.