Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Great Smartphone Apps for the High School Science Classroom - Guest Post

5 Great Smartphone Apps for the High School Science Classroom
Technology is a crucial part of the modern classroom. Especially in science, teachers who embrace the use of new technologies provide their students with learning tools that are both fun and useful. Apps for smartphones are just the latest way to integrate learning and technology. Below are some of the best new apps for high school science classrooms.

Frog Dissection by Emantras Inc
Available for iPad and iOS for just $3.99, Frog Dissection is a great ethical alternative to the classic biology lab. For those students who conscientiously object to opening up an actual frog on their lab tables, the Frog Dissection app gives them the chance to explore anatomy in a new way. The realistic app mimics the actual procedure of dissecting using step by step instructions and virtual dissection tools. Clear 3D imaging allows students to see each organ in vivid detail. In addition to the dissection, the app contains information about classification, organ functions, and the lifecycle of frogs, as well as a comparison to human anatomy.

Atomium: Periodic Table by Henri Hansen
Chemistry students are constantly referring to the periodic table of the elements to find atomic masses, atomic numbers, and other important facts. With a periodic table app, students can have the information at their fingertips. Atomium, available on iOs and iPad for $0.99, is a great reference app that provides more information about each element than any student could hope for. It also allows users to regroup and recolor the elements according to properties. This is a great way to help students visualize the trends and patterns that are otherwise tough to see in a static table.

Science Friday BE by ScienceFriday Inc.
Most high school students are likely unaware of NPRs Friday talk show. The app for iPhone and Android is a great way to introduce students to the show that makes science relevant and fun. Teachers can use stories from the program as teachable moments and to further explore concepts taught in the classroom. A new aspect of the SciFri app is the show’s science and the arts section. It can help to engage students who are more interested in creative subjects. And best of all, the app is free.

Skeptical Science by Shine Technolgies
High school students are full of questions. One of the most contentious and political debates today is the one over global warming. Science teachers are often bombarded with questions regarding the ins and outs of the debate. With this free app, students can explore the whole range of doubts, questions, and skeptical arguments made regarding climate change. Skeptical Science keeps up to date with all new arguments made against climate change and offers counter arguments backed by hard science.

Vernier Video Physics by Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier has long provided teachers with technology for the physics classroom. Now, for just $2.99, students can visualize and analyze motion with this Vernier app. Students film the motion of an object  with their phones and the app displays the path of the object on a graph for analysis. This is a great tool for taking basic physics concepts into the real world.

Mary Ellen Ellis is a science teacher and writer for Teacher Certification Degrees, a career site for individuals interested in researching how to become a teacher in their state and featuring interviews with current teachers and leaders in the education field.


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