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LabQuest Library

By Sally Finley - Posted May 1, 2009
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Company: Vernier Software & Technology, 13979 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, OR 97005. Phone: (888) 837-6437; Internet: www.vernier.com.  

Price: Free of charge. (LabQuest sells for $329.)

Audience: Grades K–12

Format: Web-based resource with text and graphics.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with a browser and internet access. The compatible web browsers are Internet Explorer 6, Mozilla Firefox 2, Google Chrome, and Safari 3. JavaScript and cookies must be enabled.

The LabQuest Organizer requires LabQuest version 1.2.

Description: The Vernier LabQuest Library is used—in conjunction with the company’s LabQuest handheld data collection system—to create and customize science labs. The LabQuest Library offers a Lab Creator, a Lab Organizer, and links to LabQuest device upgrades.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: The LabQuest Library is online at www.vernier.com/mylabquest. I had no problem accessing the site. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: LabQuest is a handheld device operated by buttons or a stylus that can be used to gather data with more than 65 available sensors. The unit has six sensor ports and a color screen that allows users to work with real-time graphing and analysis functions. The built-in features include a temperature sensor, a microphone, a stopwatch, a periodic table, an on-screen keyboard, and a scientific calculator.

Collected information can be viewed on the screen in meter, data table, or graph form. The LabQuest device contains preloaded labs that now can be altered using the LabQuest Library.

The online LabQuest Library contains two applications: Lab Creator and Lab Organizer.

The Lab Creator enables the creation of experiments for download to the LabQuest handheld device. Educators can create their own lab instructions, develop instructions using a Vernier template, or modify an existing lab (including labs found on the CD accompanying Vernier lab books). Labs can be uploaded to a LabQuest handheld device via a flash drive.

The LabQuest Library opening screen provides three starting points: Start with an Existing Lab, Start from Scratch, and Start with a Template. Each selection provides instructions and important tips.

Labels at the top of the screen provide a continual reminder of the five steps for lab creation—Choose Starting Point, Create Your Lab, Preview Your Lab, Name Your Lab, and Download Your Lab. Links at the bottom of the page provide access to the next and previous steps of the process.

The Lab Organizer offers more than 400 customizable labs in a searchable format that can be downloaded to the LabQuest device. The labs cover subject areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, middle school science, elementary science, earth science, physical science, physiology, and water quality.

The LabQuest Library also provides on-screen links to update LabQuest handheld devices to ensure the best performance and compatibility with the LabQuest Library.

The LabQuest version 1.2 update includes added sensor support, additional data collection modes and features, additional language localizations, an increase in the number of embedded labs from 51 to 102, and subject folder organization for the labs.

Links to additional reference guide and software updates are also offered on the update page. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: The straightforward and simple design of the homepage makes the LabQuest Library easy to use. A lab can be created in five steps (choose a starting point, create a lab, preview the lab, name the lab, and download the lab). The directions for each step are clear and concise. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Product support is available via a toll-free telephone number, an online support form, email, and fax. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Creating a lab is a very simple process; the directions are easy to follow. I especially appreciated the ready-to-use labs that came with the LabQuest device, and now I’m grateful to have the ability to adapt these labs to meet my students’ needs.

The LabQuest Creator tool offers the opportunity to develop labs that match teaching and learning styles. State standards and curriculum objectives can be integrated into the labs. With this simple program, students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to design their own labs for a class to preview and try.

Be sure to check out the LabQuest Library if you use LabQuest with your students. You will love the ease of lab creation, and you will definitely appreciate all of the resources that the LabQuest Library offers. This is a valuable tool for providing engaging, hands-on experiences for your students. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley, Educational Consultant, Coral Springs, Fla.


 
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