One of the most important aspects of using a mobile device for learning is being able to use it to interact with your environment. A major part of that is the various sensors that enable you to gather data from your learning context. That has not always been easy to do in the past, with the need to find and install various apps that would allow you to access different combinations of sensors on your device.

Thankfully, the nQuire-it citizen inquiry site has been launched to help young people to develop practical science skills, and the nQuire-it platform includes the Sense-it app, the first open application to unlock the full range of sensors on mobile devices, so that people of any age can do science projects on their phones and tablets.

Sense-it provides a useful list of the sensors available on your particular device. My ‘legacy’ Galaxy SIII doesn’t have anything like the full set of sensors available on some of the newest phones, but still has a reasonable selection, as this screen capture from Sense-it’s handy ‘show/hide sensors’ tool shows.

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Each sensor has an associated tool within the app. These appear on the main screen.

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Each app makes it easy to gather data from the selected sensor. Here, for example, is the light sensor being used to measure the light level in my office.

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The nQuire-it site has lots of projects where you can try out these sensors, and you can also create your own projects. This should prove a great resource for science teachers and learners.

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