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This blog will be primarily aimed at innovative educational techniques but will however have the occasional post about education in general.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Using Smartphones in a smart way

NASM notecardsTo give away my age a little bit, I remember writing and using note cards in high school.  I hated it.  I had (and still have) horrible handwriting, I could not keep them in order and cards from one class would invariably end up in another class.

As a physics teacher I allow my students to use an "equation card".  This can be a note card or a piece of paper where the students can write equations and definitions.  They can use this on test and quizzes.  I try to stress to my students that I am more interested in how they solve the problem than their answer.  As many of you are aware, many physics problems require multiple steps to solve, especially projectile motion problems.

I have tried many methods do help my students become proficient at solving projectile motion problems with varying degrees of success.  This year however, I stumbled upon an idea while observing my students as they were taking notes, more specifically how they were taking notes: they were using their phones and taking pictures of the board!! What a concept!

PhotoSo, I quickly came up with an idea.  I used Google Docs and created "note cards" that had all the individual steps needed to solve a projectile motion problems.  I then printed them on business cards and had the students arrange them in the correct order.  Then, they were to take their phones out and take a picture!  Welcome to the new face of note cards!!

I have embedded a little video I created using WeVideo that shows how the students completed this activity.

For those who are interested here is a folder with a completed problem as well as the cards: Projectile Motion Docs