Neat things happen when educators use phones in innovative ways. (And bad things happen when they don't. See my rant on the topic here.)
At least institutions of higher learning get the picture. Case in point: Professor David Fletcher, of University of California at Berkeley, issued an interesting directive for his students that is equal parts cool hack and educational experiment.
He instructed them to build a microscope using a cell phone. Lo and behold, after some tinkering with electronics and lenses, they had a functional and useful gadget on their hands, which they dubbed the Cellscope.
They?re hoping the device will be a weapon in the arsenal for poor geographic areas battling malaria, sickle-cell anemia, and tuberculosis. These locations tend to have issues with equipment supplies, since diagnosis requires numerous expensive microscopes. The team hopes that the Cellscope will offer a less-expensive alternative that could help save lives.
[Scientific American via Neatorama]