Welcome to my blog!
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