Author: Pavel Vachalec
Tablets are, for almost 10 years now, a common part of our lives and often, they also are part of the teaching, where it is possible to benefit from their possibilities, especially user-friendly control, accuracy, interactivity, etc. Their more efficient and broader use, especially in the teaching of natural science is however limited by a small number of high-quality educational applications. That is the reason why, as part of the European project Tabletarium, in cooperation with Science IN, Czech Technical University, Charles University and the Secondary Technical School of Construction and Business Academy, numerous natural-science-oriented applications for tables with OS Android were developed.
The cooperation of all the above-mentioned institutions was crucial, as it was a multidisciplinary work and none of the partners had experts in all the necessary fields. For example, programming was done by experts from ČVUT, didactics from Charles University prepared proposals and participated in application development and students and teachers of the mentioned school participated in application testing. The company Science IN provided graphics and animators and was responsible for work coordination.
Thanks to this cooperation, 18 applications were developed some of them are available for free in the Google app store. The applications try to use all the benefits that tablets can provide to teachings, and they try to make the student more active. For example, the student must correctly place the organs of the bird’s respiratory system or find the length of the chemical bond and its energy from the graph, etc. The developed applications are relatively diverse, ranging from “classic” educational applications (ie. Chemical Bond, Optics, Photosynthesis) to applications, where the student must solve the more complex, predetermined quest and tasks. For example, in the application “Ztracený Chemulín”, the students move with the help of GPS and use their knowledge to save the good wizard Chemulin from the clutches of the evil wizard Chemudrak. Those who paid the attention during the classes will undoubtedly not have a problem building a distillation apparatus or to ignite the flame of the three colors. Despite some issues with compatibility on certain tablets, those are interesting applications that are worth the try and their authors would be thrilled if some of these applications found their way to the tables in schools in the Czech Republic.