Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

PocketLab is the latest in a series of efforts to make sensors affordable for classroom use. It is a small, wireless sensor that pairs with smartphones or tablets to gather data such as acceleration, pressure, magnetic field, and temperature. Then, the data can be analyzed using tools such as Excel and Google Docs and even through the Scratch programming site.

Price: Free, paid

Grades: 6-12

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Sensors are durable and lightweight, so students can be creative about how they design investigations.

Cons: PocketLab better exemplifies the nature of science when students design or modify existing labs instead of following them step by step.

Bottom line: A science sensor that pairs with your mobile device to gather and analyze data is perfect for inquiry-based learning.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.