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SPARKVUE – A resource for planning lessons during the pandemic!

With SPARKvue it is possible for teachers to collect data and steam the data to students in real time via a student device also running SPARKvue. This is possible if each device has SPARKvue loaded on it and is connected to WiFi – even if the devices are located many kms apart. So a teacher could schedule a zoom session with his/her students. Students could use a computer for this activity. The teacher could then carry out an activity on another device loaded with SPARKvue and stream this to students who would have a second device such as a tablet, chromebook or smart phone to receive the data. After using the zoom platform for some preliminary discussion the teacher could then turn control of the data over to each individual student and this student could then use all of the tools available to him/her in SPARKvue to carry out the analysis.

Has it been difficult for you to plan lessons for your students that would result in meaningful learning as they tackled them at home?

SPARKvue data collection software can be a great help here for several reasons:

  •  SPARKvue will run on a great variety of devices including smart phones, tablets, chromebooks, and computers. It is free for all of these devices except for computers, for which a license must be purchased.
  • The appearance and function of SPARKvue software is virtually identical ascross platforms.
    • An activity planned and carried out and saved on one device such as a tablet can be opened in another device such as a chromebook.
    • All of Pasco’s sensors can be used with any of these devices

  • Unlike the software of some of our competitors, it is possible to generate a number of pages in SPARKvue (actually there is no limit). This makes it possible to use a number of the displays available in SPARKvue such as a digital picture, a video clip, a graph, a table, a meter, a digital display, an assessment, a text box, and blockly coding.
  • A teacher could design and carry out an activity where most of the analysis is left for the student to complete. For example the sequence of pages could look as follows:
    • The opening page is a title page and gives a brief description of the task to be completed
    • Page 2 shows a digital photograph of the setup to be used
    • Page 3 contains a short video clip in which the teacher gives a brief explanation or where a specific technique is demonstrated – eg how to connect a pressure sensor to a syringe (for a Boyle’s Law activity).
    • Page 4 is a text box which informs students that a data run has been collected by the teacher and the following pages will instruct them how to analyze the results. For example on page 5 the page is split into two parts with the larger part on the left. Students are asked to generate a graph of the data. On the right side there are a number of questions which students must answer by analyzing the graph. This means that the students will have to know how to use the analysis tools found as part of the graph display.
    • On page 6 students could find another split page. Suppose a motion sensor was used to collect data. On the left side students could be asked to plot a graph of kinetic energy vs time. This means they would have to know how to use the calculator in SPARKvue. On the right side of the page there could be a number of questions relating to this graph.
  • SPARKvue can collect data from more than one sensor at a time. For example, an activity could be carried out in which the pH and temperature of a sample of orange juice is measured when AlkaSeltzer is added. Students could be asked to generate a graph showing both the temperature and pH of the juice as the reaction proceeds and then be asked a series of questions on this reaction.
    • As can be seen from the examples above SPARKvue can be used to carry out extensive analysis of collected data.
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