Showing teachers how to make physics super simple

Making physics super simple may seem downright laughable at times. However, many concepts in high school physics can be demonstrated and ‘felt’ very easily using the right technologies.  On Friday the 14th of October, Sivam and myself attended both the SASTA and Google conferences held at Immanuel College. It was a chance to test the waters for teacher adoption and excitement. Not just for the PhoneLabs products, but its philosophy on education and the role of sensors in learning. It proved to be a resounding success! Many teachers got a chance to use the Google Science Journal app for the first time. The ease with which this app was used to demonstrate concepts like Newton’s laws was very exciting for educators. As a result, they saw a chance for ‘quick and easy’ active learning to find a place in their classrooms.

The power of visual learning through real-time data was shown as phones were put through their paces on a variety of PhoneLabs equipment. A live read out of the Google Science Journal data was shown on a screen to facilitate a shared understanding of the motion of the phone. Teachers agreed that this kind of learning and the data analysis that can follow is incredibly useful. Especially for developing computational thinking skills and getting students to ‘feel’ the physics concepts.

Phonelabs is very much looking forward to tying this technology into learning experiences which can be offered directly to students. Sensors and measurement may seem boring to students until their true potential is realised. This can be done by creating solid pedagogy which creates deep learning opportunities and allows students to explore. Ultimately, proving that physics concepts CAN be super simple!

Darren Macolino