video and data analysis tool – Coach Studio
Update – Coach 7 was available in 2018. In 2008 I wrote: Coach 6 Studio provides a learning environment where you or students can work with models or create models of your own. It cuts through complex maths to do with changes over time to give students ideas and problems to solve. If ever you feel that there should be more to do with the data we collect Coach 6 Studio opens the door to it. In the UK we’ve put a considerable amount of effort into replacing £1 thermometers with £1000 systems that on the surface do the same thing. This program shows how we can use ICT to get value from our money.
You can start with imported lists of numbers, a video clip, a picture or the countless examples provided. There are tools to cut and resize media and even one to correct distortion of images captured at an angle. You can go through a sports video, frame by frame, and plot the path of a ball or athlete. What you can then do is make a model to fit the data and play it through beside the video. The depth and facilities available is the meat of physics and very powerful indeed.
I first saw Coach in action twenty years ago. I watched it demonstrated, and heard about the way students could handle data captured from pendulums swinging and people breathing. It was spellbinding and has had me hooked on data logging for as long. What especially impressed were classroom activities where students would derive data from them. The teacher had structured them so as to eke out as much as one could. Graphs were not presented as done but as paths to learning: do this and comment; differentiate that and say what you find.
So many years on, Coach has today evolved into a comprehensive data handling ‘studio’. Spreadsheets like Excel aren’t up to this. Coach embraces video and combines it with captured data and modelling. As well as import data you’ve collected with your own sensor system, Coach can actually capture data from CMA and Texas Instruments Interfaces. If you’re looking for a set of real scientist’s tools to analyse data and you enjoy packages so much of what people want to do is built-in than Coach 6 Studio beckons. A trainee physics teacher would go far with this – and knowing how to ‘eke’ understanding out of raw data would be part of every science curriculum.
Published by CMA Foundation – formerly AMSTEL Institute, University of Amsterdam.