As a psychologist, the biggest time-consuming task I did during my college years was data entry, the dark alley of psychology. Online forms (like the one from Google) did make the task easier, but performing studies associated with social psychology, and visual perception, for instance, still remained awful; since social experiments are performed on the field, a handy app that will let me keep all my notes and results in one place haven’t existed. But now, with Science Journal, Google wants to help numerous science students with keeping data from their experiments, and using their phone to perform them.
Science Journal is a new app from Google, and it has a goal of easing students from all around the world in their science related work. Until now they had to lean on expensive software or to use online apps that didn’t work as expected in every situation. Now, they have an app that will make them interested in science; after all, scientists are the ones that bring change and progress to our society and helping the world to get as many scientists as it can is one noble cause.
You can many tasks with Science Journal; take notes, enter and record data, use its prediction features, doing statistics on the go, and much more. As Chris DiBona, Director of Making Science and Open Source department at Google said, “To bring out that inner scientist in all of us, today we’re introducing Science Journal: a digital science notebook that helps kids (and adults!) measure and explore the world around them. With this app, you can record data from sensors on your Android phone (or connected via an Arduino), take notes, observe, interpret and predict. Fundamentally, we think this application will help you learn how to think like a scientist”
And it should do just that; less and less youth is interested in science and providing them with a mobile app that helps them when doing scientific research will push science into the modern world of communication, where most of the tasks are performed on mobile devices. DiBona further explained that “since we know that hands-on projects increase engagement, cultivate curiosity and spark a lifelong interest in learning, we also teamed up with the Exploratorium – a leader in science education – to develop and assemble creative hands-on learning activity kits to accompany the Science Journal app. These Science Journal kits include inexpensive sensors, microcontrollers and craft supplies that bring science to life in new ways. The kits are available for purchase in the US or can even be assembled yourself.” So, instead of giving a free app, and after that taking money from selling accessories, Google offered an alternative way that will enable students to make everything they need themselves. A smart move, one that actually has the potential of pushing young people into the world of science; Science Journal looks like a revolution in field experiments. And if universities and high schools decide to use it, it can also ease up the painful data-entry phase of every scientific study.
You can get Scientific Journal for free on Google Play Store; the only problem at the moment is that Scientific Journal isn’t available on iOS. If Google wants to reach as many future scientists as it can, it would be logical that iOS version of the app become available in the near future.