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Assessment with the Video Microscope — Science Education Technology

Video Microscope Technology

A digital or video microscope is the latest advent in the field of microscopy.

This device comes in very handy when the teacher wants to asses the performance of students. Capturing of images has become simple as well as fast, compared to other conventional methods such as practical experiments.

Performance standards are generally chalked out in the education system. Sometimes it becomes difficult to justify and carry them out well. The use of a digital microscope helps solidify the existing performance standards of the school.

Digital microscopes such as the SmartScope provide one of the most effective methods of assessing a students’ ability to observe, study and record various aspects of the sample under consideration, be it Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry or Environmental Science. As Dr. Martin G. Horejsi suggests”Instead of the conventional lab notebook drawing, the students can capture a plethora of images authentically detailing their journey into the micro world.” (Horejsi, M. (2007).

About Video Microscope Technology

The digital microscope can be used to take still images, which is a much better way of presenting the data captured compared to conventional drawing, which may not be very accurate. The digital microscope can be connected using the USB port and images captured in an instant by simply clicking the mouse.

The device is simple to operate and can be easily handled even by young students. The changes in the sample under observation can be accurately noted, by taking an image at the right time. This is a great way of documenting static samples.

The images can then be presented using PowerPoint. The images can be zoomed in to get a closer look at different parts of the sample, helpful in accurate and detailed study. The students can also present the images to exhibit a particular process under observation.

For instance, the images in a chemical process such as confirmatory tests can be captured at different stages, where the color or state of the substance, can be easily taken at the correct time and depicted in a series of images on the slideshow.

In case of studies involving recording the behavior of a sample over a period of time, the digital microscope provides the option of videos and time-lapse videos. For instance, a seed under examination for the process of germination can be easily recorded using the SmartScope.

The video can be taken over several hours, where the result can be seen within a minute. This can be done up to the limit of 180:1, that is, a video taken over a time of 180 minutes can be seen in one minute. The changes can even be measured using the measurement feature of the digital microscope.

Once the students have compiled the necessary data using images, video, PowerPoint slideshows or completed worksheets, it can be easily archived on a CD, thumb drive, emailed or posted online for others to view. This compilation can also be assembled as portfolios, to verify and assess students’ progress.

Video Microscope Technology Summary

Use of digital microscopes such as the SmartScope makes it easy for the teachers and for the school to make accurate assessment, as it consumes less time and takes much lesser effort. This time can then be utilized with the students to help them better understand the concepts.

The digital or video microscope is a recent addition being made in classrooms to facilitate group learning and teamwork.

With USB and TV versions made available to educational institutions, it is time you purchased one for your institute.

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