The Auckland Lablet provides an active learning environment for Physics experimentation on an Android tablet. The intuitive interface and the rich sensor suite of touch screen tablets create a powerful learning tool built on commodity hardware. Students use Lablet to capture and analyse data in and outside our teaching laboratories; the Lablet modules leverage a range of internal sensors in the tablet, and the fully customisable Lablet environment guides students through activities and experiments.

Students use familiar technology to optimise their time with learning hands-on Physics with Lablet. In addition, Lablet creates a “paperless workflow” for grading and student feedback, so that the Lablet maximises the time our staff spend interacting with students.

The increasing ownership and availability of mobile devices with advanced sensors equip anyone interested in physics to get creative with scientific inquiries. We hope a community of Lablet users will grow a home in high schools, studio-based learning environments, and flipped classrooms. Lablet’s low cost and versatility create a wealth of opportunities for playful independent exploration. Imagine students combining Doppler analysis and video motion tracking data of cars on a busy road, using an accelerometer in an elevator to measure the height of a building, or analysing the motion of a ball on a sport field. If you are using Lablet, want to contribute ideas and extensions, or just want to learn more, please get in touch with us!

The Auckland Lablet is open source; our applications and source code are freely available for use and modification. The current release includes video, audio and accelerometer capturing and analysis modules. Future releases will exploit the ambient light sensors, compasses, gyroscopes and GPS receivers found in tablets, as well as purpose-built Arduino-based Bluetooth connected sensors.