Giving students the opportunity to experience firsthand how to collect data with science probes and sensors lets them quickly and efficiently collect real time data very much as a scientist would. While we often struggled to collect accurate data when I was in high school this factor is eliminated when using digital probes and sensors. Now students can spend their time analyzing and making sense of the data collected instead of expending all their energy in pursuit of recording the data. Using probes and sensors with the iPad has revolutionized the way students can collect data in real time and now with the advent of a family of probes with built-in wireless technologies from Vernier Software & Technology, students don’t need to be tethered to the device to collect data during an experiment. I recently started to use the Vernier Go Wireless Temp and the Vernier Go Wireless pH with my iPad Air and want to share my impressions.
|Plotting Temperature Data Using Vernier Go Wireless Temp Probe|
The first thing you will need to do before using the Vernier Go Wireless Temp ($75) and the Vernier Go Wireless pH ($99) is download the Vernier Go Wireless app from the Apple App Store. To use the probe you simply hold down the power button to turn it on and then launch the Go Wireless app. Select the sensor that you are using, in this case we will start off with the Vernier Go Wireless Temp. Once you select the sensor you are ready to begin collecting your data. To switch between Centigrade and Fahrenheit simply tap on the oval with the current read out. To begin your data collection simply press on Collect which is at the top of the window. As soon as do this you will begin to see your data points graphed against time. For me, what is really exciting is how this technology allows students multiple representations of the data as it is being collected which is really important for the type of students I work with learning differences. It can provide a digital read out in a numeric format, and as visual bar chart and in a graphical format. Students can click anywhere on the graph and find out the temperature value at a specific time. If a student is using VoiceOver ton he iPad it will read aloud the data value on the screen. For students who would like to do further analysis they can always email the data set and open the file in Excel.
Using the Vernier Go Wireless pH sensor it is just as easy, select the sensor from the Vernier Go Wireless app and place the probe in the liquid solution and press on the Keep button which will then allow you to record the pH for the sample. When you press the Keep button a small dialog box opens up that lets you enter a description and your observation along with the pH reading. Students have the opportunity to enter a note in the Observation field which would be a good place to record their observations. If you like students could also record their observations using the built-in speech recognition feature found in the iPad. Again, students are given a clean and simple interface to record the pH of the solutions that they are working with. The pH readout is clearly delineated on the top left of the screen along with a bar that runs along the left side of the screen that clearly marks the pH
|Recording pH with Vernier Go Wireless pH Probe|
range which goes from 0 to 14. A demarcation line makes it easy for students to clearly see the pH of the solution. Students can export the data table to Excel for further analysis. As you can see in the screenshot, I recorded the pH of tap water, vinegar, shower cleaner, and bottled water with my observations. Recording the pH of the solutions was very quick and straight forward. For advanced data analysis and graphing capabilities with the Go Wireless sensors on the iPad you can download the Vernier Graphical Analysis. Using the Vernier Graphical Analysis students can annotate their graphs and obtain statistical data on their data set.
From my perspective, Vernier has spent a lot of time making the experience of using the wireless sensors as full proof as possible so students can spend their energy collecting and analyzing the data. Setting up the Vernier Go Wireless sensors were a breeze and were immediately recognized on my iPad, without the need for me to manually pair them in any way. This point is important because it is these little details that can bring a lab down when you are using technology in the classroom. If you are not using sensors in your classroom you need to take a look at the Vernier Go Wireless sensors to get you started. Having access to tools like the Vernier Go Wireless sensors will empower your students and let them have hands-on experience collecting data as a scientist would do. So jump in and see how you can provide your students with experiences that can transform their understanding of scientific concepts with Vernier Go Wireless