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I developed some widgets for interactive books in primary and secondary education. We had different quiz widgets (multiple choice, etc) but also drag and drop stuff and other types of widgets. The people in editorial producing the books configured the widgets using custom HTML tags. It worked very well. As long as they knew HTML they could configure these widgets.

The problem is that anything that is easy to produce and configure with a set of options is going to be very limited.

It is certainly possible to create an environment for producing mechanical and physical simulations with visual tools but it would not be trivial to develop.

I suspect the optimum balance would still be somewhat technical. Maybe something on the level of a spreadsheet. It takes some specific knowledge to use effectively, but is still fundamentally a simple and intuitive tool.

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