magnets can have adverse effects on
electronic media, so keep devices
from getting too close to the magnet.
Measuring angles. Most of today’s mobile
devices have an integrated accelerometer that can be used to measure the
angle that the user is holding the device.
Use the onboard gyroscope for a 2D
measurement of level or slope, along
with an app that has a simulated bulls-eye level. You can use this to see if a lab
setup is level or to quickly determine the
angle of an experiment’s ramp or slope.
Analyzing the frequency of sound. De-
vices that can measure sound through
a microphone can also analyze that
sound. Oscilloscopes can plot audio
signals, monitor equipment, analyze
events, and test circuits. The simplest of
these apps will allow you to identify the
frequency of a sound. Many of these
tools have the same functionality that
help musicians tune their instruments.
Unit and measurement conversion.
Once your students collect their
data, a wealth of other apps allows
them to quickly convert between
units and systems of measurement.
Mobile devices have the potential
to become the digital age Swiss Army
knives for the science classroom. By
leveraging the vast number of onboard tools, we can transform these
devices into a curricular boon.
—Jared Mader is the director of technology at
Red Lion Area Senior High School in Red Lion,
Pennsylvania, USA. He has been a chemistry
teacher for more than 10 years.
—Ben Smith is a physics teacher and science department chair for Red Lion Area School District.
Smith also serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.
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8/19/11 1: 28 PM