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ERIC Number: EJ789548
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
"Probeware" on Increase in Schools' Science Labs
Trotter, Andrew
Education Week, v27 n29 p1, 14 Mar 2008
Though the term, "probeware" may not be a household word, it has grown more familiar to science educators over the past decade, as a new generation of high-tech instruments for collecting and analyzing data from the physical world have been introduced into school science labs. Today, those tools include digital scientific probes or sensors that collect data on temperature, motion, gas pressure, light, and other characteristics. Other devices called "data loggers"-- either hand-held computers or interface boxes attached to computers--compile the data from probes, display them in real time, and transfer them to software that can analyze and present the information in various ways. Collectively, this gear, and the computer software with which it is integrated, is called "probeware." In 2007, the Concord Consortium completed the second of two three-year studies, financed by the National Science Foundation, on the use of probeware in school science instruction. The two studies, which used random assignment of teachers, were conducted in grades 3-8 in a variety of disciplines, including physical science, life science, technology, and engineering. The studies tested all available brands of school probeware, without distinguishing among manufacturers. They used the equipment with both hand-held and desktop computers, though with a common software interface developed by the consortium. In the first study, conducted from 2001 to 2004, students who used probeware scored significantly higher on pre- and post-tests in science compared with students who did not use probeware. The second study, from 2004 to 2007, met a higher research standard, "as close to the medical model as possible, with validated results," and also showed that students learned more using probeware.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A