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Explore iPad Apps for the Science Classroom

The iPad is an ideal tool for investigation in the science classroom. Students can take iPads with them as they explore their environment and take scientific readings. iPads can be fitted with external sensors that can transmit data via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to an app on the iPad, which then analyzes that data.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the iPad apps you can employ in your science classroom.

Science classroom and SPARKvue HD iPad app and PASCO probes

Integrate sensor-based data collection into the learning experience with the SPARKvue HD app for the iPad, which communicates with any of the 70 sensors from PASCO. The connection between the sensor and iPad is facilitated by PASCO’s AirLink 2 Bluetooth interface, which enables you to connect a sensor; then it wirelessly sends data to the SPARKvue HD app on your iPad.

[Credit: Image courtesy of PASCO Scientific.]
Credit: Image courtesy of PASCO Scientific.

Measure a wide range of phenomena, including pH, temperature, force, carbon-dioxide level, and much more. Use sensors in experiments anything from weather to cellular respiration, from sound levels in an elementary school classroom to advanced optics in physics.

In addition, you can capture images with the iPad cameras and use SPARKvue HD’s image analysis capabilities. Or collect and display live acceleration data with the iPad internal accelerometer.

Science classroom and AirMicroPad iPad app and ProScope Mobile

ProScope Mobile is a wireless hand-held digital microscope for iOS devices. ProScope sends live video and captured stills to multiple iOS devices simultaneously via Wi-Fi. Use ProScope in the field, classroom, or lab to zoom in on any object of interest and project it to a host of devices. ProScope lenses vary from 0–0X to 400X.

ProScope Mobile creates its own Wi-Fi network and can be used simultaneously with up to 253 iOS devices. ProScope Mobile works with the AirMicroPad app on the iPad.

Users can view live images, freeze them, and capture them. Imagine a classroom filled with iPads. Each student would simultaneously see what the teacher is showing with the ProScope Mobile. When the teacher taps the Capture button on the ProScope Mobile, that image is captured in the photo album of each student’s iPad at the same time. Students can then study and mark up that image.

Other ways to use iPads in your science classroom

Your iPad comes equipped with perfect tools for investigating and recording phenomena:

  • Use the camera to snap events and video processes.

  • Record notes in any of the many note-taking apps.

  • If you’re using any of the sensors or hardware listed earlier, they generally come with their own iPad apps to record, analyze, and present data in multiple representations.

  • If you’re using the old tried-and-true methods of observation and documentation of data, you’ll want a way to record and analyze the data you collect. Use a spreadsheet such as Numbers to record and statistically analyze the data. Use the charts feature to present your data visually.

  • Presentation apps such as Keynote, Explain Everything, and iMovie are ideal for presenting a dynamic and media-based summary of your findings.

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