Apps That Can Make Science Come Alive!
Teachers and pupils with a love for science may find themselves being frustrated in their attempts to bring science to life in the classroom. There are many reasons why science lessons have to be curtailed or limited in their overall impact. Health and safety is always a major concern in the classroom but sometimes availability of certain items can prevent a lesson plan from turning out the way a teacher would hope. However, help is at hand with iPad and iPhone apps as the iOS system comes to the rescue of budding scientists everywhere. In today’s post I’ll discuss three of the top apps used in education for budding scientists.
Bring 3-D into your classroom
No doubt that 3-D has captured the attention of any tech enthusiast. From TVs, movies and the 3DS from Nintendo, students and teachers are gradually becoming more accustomed to 3D as a medium for learning. The iPad now boasts a 3D element which can be harnessed with the use of 3D glasses which can bring an added sense of realism to the classroom.
Although intended for older, advanced students, a perfect example of this is shown with the 3D Brain app. It is unlikely that a school would have access to a human brain, let alone that every pupil in the class can examine for any great length of time. This app provides a brain for every pupil, allowing the class to study how every region of the brain functions. This provides the setting for learning what happens to parts of the brain when they become injured and exploring the impact of mental illness. With 29 interactive structures available to choose from, there is great scope for learning from this app.
Transform the periodic table
As an app that has been on the stage since the dawn of the iPad The Elements: A Visual Exploration is always worth a mention. It is an essential addition to any science teacher’s app library. The periodic table is at the heart of every science classroom with the table usually to be found hanging on the wall at the back of the classroom. It may be a familiar sight for most students but it can be difficult for pupils to pay much attention to the words on the wall. This is where bringing each element to life can have a strong positive impact on the learning process for a pupil but again; safety and budget may impact on a school’s ability to include working with elements in the curriculum.
Using the iPad and iPhone app The Elements: A Visual Exploration brings the elements to life, allowing pupils to see everyone element in action. The app begins with the standard periodic table but going through each element sees the touch screen being filled with the element, alongside important information and facts. Not only that but objects relating to the element can be explored with a touch or a swipe, helping to place the elements in the real world. Making sure that pupils see the period table’s impact on everyday life is an important aspect for teachers and exploring each element individually can give any pupil a head start in science.
Make science available for all
A similar app but perhaps more commonly associated with science classes focuses on frog dissection. This has been a controversial subject for many years with many pupils and teachers objecting to the practice. The use of the app removes the moral arguments over animal dissection in the classroom while providing all of the learning processes associated with the process. Frog Dissection not only brings the process to life, rewarding pupils for good work in following instructions in the cutting process, it provides added details and information about the frog’s organs. With quizzes at the end and additional information about frogs, this is an example of an app going above and beyond what would have been expected in a classroom environment.
The reduction of mess in the classroom that these apps provide will also ensure that they a winner with everyone in the educational process, including the cleaning staff!
These apps can be used by pupils on their or in pairs or small groups so there is the ability to work collaboratively. In fields like science, collaborative working and bringing different opinions together can be of great benefit so this is definitely an area of work that deserves to be examined further.