Thursday, April 3, 2014

iPads in Science Experiments

There are thousands of iPad apps being flogged for Science education but what are the best ways to use  iPads to compliment Science pedagogy. To me, the best and most obvious way is to use iPads or other mobile devices in Science experiments and inquiry. Here are some suggestions:

1. Get the students to record the teacher demonstrating an experiment before they attempt it themselves. That way they can listen back and make sure they haven't missed anything whilst not wasting time writing. Revisiting the video for homework or in later classes the students can use it to help them to formally write up the experimental method and for various literacy exercises.

2. Get students to take photos of the teacher's experimental apparatus plus any diagrams on the board. Again, why waste precious class time copying them down.

3. Most importantly, students can video themselves performing experiments, orating their procedure and capturing their results as they happen. This is particularly empowering to students with poor writing skills. And seriously, does every experiment have to written up formally? Why not a video blog instead?

4. Use the stopwatch facility for the plethora of experiments that require measuring time. (Quick anecdote - years ago I would forever be forgetting to order the stopwatches for experiments and was too afraid to go to the lab technician late. Instead I would ask the students to use the stopwatches on their old clunky mobile phones I knew they had hidden on their person. It was breaking school rules, but to benefit learning. This was the beginning of mobile learning).

Make Science Selfies!!!

Read Authentic Learning in Primary Science to see this in practice.

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