How Effectively Can Students’ Personal Smartphones be Used as Tools in Physics Labs?

Serafeim Tsoukos, Panagiotis Lazos, Pavlos Tzamalis, Alexandros Kateris, Athanasios Velentzas

Abstract


This study seeks to answer the question of how effectively students can use their smartphones as tools for measuring and processing data when they perform physics experiments. The research was conducted in a local secondary school in Athens, Greece. The sample consisted of fifty-two 16-year-old students (10th grade). The students formed 26 pairs, and were asked to perform an experiment using their smartphones for measuring, processing and saving data, and then to email the data file to the researchers. During the implementation, students of each pair completed the steps on a worksheet. Two researchers monitored each pair individually and recorded scores and comments on evaluation sheets. The worksheets, the evaluation sheets, and the experimental data emailed by each pair constituted the data of the present study. The findings of the study show that the integration of students' smart mobile devices in the performance of physics experiments in the classroom or in the school lab is possible without posing particular problems. However, this integration presupposes the proper planning by the teacher and the dedication of appropriate time both for the preparation of the students for the activity, and for the installation of the necessary applications in the devices.

Keywords


Smartphone Sensors; School Lab; BYOD; Physics Experiments

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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