It has been a couple of years since I last reviewed the Labquest from Vernier, so when I was able to get my hands on the LabQuest 2, I was really excited to find out about all the new enhancements in this new handheld connected science system. The LabQuest 2 is about the size of large cell phone with a high contrast screen that is powered by a high capacity rechargeable Lithium battery. The Labquest 2 has a great design and feels very solid in your hands as you use the device. The high resolution touch screen is great for viewing when you are using it outside in the field. Vernier did not skimp on the processing power in this device and you will find it very responsive when you are collecting or analyzing data on the device. The LabQuest 2 supports all of the Vernier sensors making it easy for schools who have invested in their devices and probes. The LabQuest 2 now includes both WiFi and Bluetooth which opens up all kinds of possibilities which I will discuss later in the post. Additionally, the LabQuest 2 has built-in accelerometers as well as GPS which can be utilized with other sensors for recording such data. I should mention that the LabQuest 2 is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers.
|LabQuest 2 Screenshot|
But no matter how good the hardware is-how does the LabQuest 2 hold up when in use? This is where this device really shines! Teachers will find that the LabQuest 2 is a dream to use-just plug in the sensor which will be automatically detected by the LabQuest 2 and press the Collect button to get started. Instantly students will be able to see their data being displayed on the screen. Once the data is collected students can spend their time using the analytic tools built in or transfer the data to a computer. Teachers can also have students email the data, graph, or screenshot directly from the LabQuest 2, that was captured, which makes it easy to include in a lab report. The LabQuest 2 supports analysis with linear and curve fits and allows students to record their notes on the device, with the on-screen keyboard. Teachers will enjoy the fact- knowing that the LabQuest 2 comes with over 100 experiments that are pre-loaded on the device which students can access. If teachers would like to customize the labs, Vernier has a handy Lab Creator Tool that is available to teachers that allows you to tweak the lab to your liking.
|Vernier Data Share on iPhone 4S|
In this age of bring your own device (BYOD) Vernier has taken this model to heart and created the “connected science system,” allowing anyone with a browser to view and interact with the collected data. This enables students with iPhones, Android Phones, iPod Touches, and iPads, to launch their browser and view the data live as it is being collected. All the students need to to do is go to their Settings and make sure that their device and the LabQuest 2 is on the same wireless network. Now simply launch the browser and enter in the IP address or name of Network and voila you are ready to view the data being collected in real time. I have tested various browsers, using my iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fire with the LabQuest 2 and in each case the data was instantaneously available for me to preview in real time. For a richer set of tools, teachers can purchase the Graphical Analysis for iPad app from the App Store.
With the LabQuest 2, Vernier has transformed the way teachers need to think about teaching science in the classroom and provided them with an easy and powerful solution for capturing data in real time. Utilizing their “connected science system” with the LabQuest 2 it is now possible to extend their set of tools to students, so that they can collaborate in real time-by simply launching a browser. For teachers that want to create more interactive science lessons and give students the opportunity to collect data the LabQuest 2 is certainly an outstanding tool you should include in your classroom. Giving students the opportunity to both visualize and analyze data is at the heart of science and what better way to make it hands-on than with the LabQuest 2. For ore information about the LabQuest 2 you can click here.
If you are considering using the LabQuest 2 in your classroom Vernier will be offering free 4 hour workshop sessions in the Fall. For more information about the workshops click here.