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Sunday
Sep302012

Observing Microorganisms Found at Your School with a Smartphone

Finding things to look at under the microscope is pretty easy. This video shows a great source of microorganisms that can be found at any school. What is interesting is how to view and share what you are looking at. I purchased a Skylight smartphone adapter for a microscope. The idea is to attach the camera of a smartphone to a microscope and use the smartphone as a monitor and a picture/video recorder. It's a great concept in theory, and the reality isn't too bad. It takes a bit of time to adjust the adapter so that video/pictures come out looking acceptable. I got to thinking that students might be able to use their smartphones, without the adapter, although picture/video quality won't be as good. I think that if students got to record what they see through the microscope they could share their observations with each other and basically become the teacher/mentor to each other. Google has recently created Google+ Events. With Events a teacher can invite students to share pictures of a nucleus from an onion cell. Students can take a picture and share it instantaneously via "party mode". Other students would be able to see the pictures and they can comment if they think it's correct or not and add a picture of their own. This would lead to a more interactive dynamic between the students and the teacher would not have to go from microscope to microscope to verify if students were getting it or not. I think this would lead to many possibilities in the classroom. I look forward to testing this out.

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    The concept is to connect the digicam of a smart phone to a microscopic lense and use the smart phone as a observe and a picture/video recording unit. It's a great concept theoretically, and the truth isn't too bad.
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    Microorganisms are very diverse and include all the bacteria and archaea and almost all the protozoa. They also include some members of the fungi, algae, and animals such as rotifers. Many macro animals and plants have juvenile stages which are also microorganisms. Some microbiologists also classify viruses as microorganisms, but others ...
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    ScienceFix - Science Fix - Observing Microorganisms Found at Your School with a Smartphone
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    Thanks for the feedback! It's just a standard classroom microscope from Fischer Scientific.

Reader Comments (3)

First off, this is AWESOME! Was this entire video recorded with your smartphone? I am currently a Biological Sciences Teacher Education major at Illinois State University, and finding new and innovative ways to teach students and get them interested is something I am always looking for. I recently observed in a junior high science classroom and their lab for the day dealt with using microscopes and describing what they saw. Most of the students had weird drawing that you could not learn anything from. I think this idea is great to capture detail from what the students see, instead of trying to get them to draw. I also like the point you made about stirring up some inquiry in the students mind. This seems like a great way to get the students not just interested in, but also excited to learn about using microscopes and the microorganisms that they see. I think it would be so fun to have the students do mini-projects on what they find through the microscopes this way! This not only enhances their microscope skills, but also their research skills and organism identification skills. I will definitely need to keep this idea in mind for my future classroom.

November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie O'Brien

Awesome and informative blog. Fun to read!!!

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchris

Great, I found that how students are able to use their smartphones without the adapter. very interesting.

April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRad

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