Module 3 – Hardware – Data Loggers

Data loggers are instruments that record measurements at set intervals and over a set time period. Depending on the instrument they can be used to record a wide range of data variables including temperature, humidity, AC/DC current and voltage, differential pressure, time-of-use, light intensity, water temperature, water level, dissolved oxygen, soil moisture, rainfall, wind speed and direction, leaf wetness and pulse signals. The typical logger used by schools is referred to as a stand-alone USB data logger. They are moderate-cost, compact, battery-powered devices equipped with an internal microprocessor, data storage, and one or more sensors. The logger is used by first connecting to a computer via a USB interface to program the logging parameters (e.g. sampling intervals and start time). The logger is then deployed in the field to record and store the targeted data. After data collection the logger is reconnected to the computer and the recorded data file can be used to display the measurements in tables and graphs. The data file and displays generated by the logger are well suited to use in collaborative learning activities  (Information sourced from http://www.onsetcomp.com/what-is-a-data-logger)

Data loggers support discovery learning by allowing for cognitive growth through interaction with the environment (Bruner, 1973 as cited in Roblyer and Doering, 2014, p.57). Project based activities involving the use of data loggers support working scientifically skills and the development of higher-order learning skills: analysing, evaluating and creating. Students enjoy fieldwork investigations and the project activities involving loggers therefore serve to motivate students generally in terms of science learning. A key challenge involved in using loggers is encouraging students to use them carefully, especially in the field, to avoid damage and the cost of replacement.

TES Teach provides a wide range of free and subscription based resources to develop and model projects using loggers (https://www.tes.com/resources/search/?&q=data+loggers).

Reference:

Roblyer, M. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating education technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.

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Author: simonromijn

Science Teacher

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