Dissection is a great way to get students understanding biology – the mess, however, isn’t so great! But with our app of the week, you can teach the anatomical process and outcomes all with the gloop-free multitouch tactility of iPad. Welcome to Frog Dissection…
What is Frog Dissection?
You can’t say this about many apps, but Frog Dissection (Emantras Inc, £2.49) really does do what it says on the tin. It’s an award-winning app (PeTA’s Mark Twain Ethical Science Award among others) that graphically takes you through the process of dissecting a frog, step by step. It’s not photo-realistic, but it looks really good and is anatomically accurate too, coming with plenty of associated information and highly detailed 3D diagrams of each organ to explore. As well as text instructions, there are also voice prompts through the whole dissection process.
How does it work?
Before you even start, there’s a ‘Wet Lab Process’ function that takes students pictorially through putting on lab coats to washing down and disposing of the specimen afterwards. This is really handy in getting them thinking about the dissection as a wider process. When you actually get to ‘Start Dissection’, the app guides you through each step, giving you glowing hints on where to stick your pins, markers, forceps and scissors, before zooming in on the end frame – a close-up of the internals of the frog’s abdomen. All the organs are labelled, so you just tap on one to reveal more info, and to get a 360 degree model. It’s worth noting that this is a fixed, non-free roaming process, so you can quite happily let your students just get on with it. Once the process has been completed, you can get back to the internal organs bit without having to go through the process, which is handy for revision.
There are a few other interesting navigation tabs on the home screen too – the Human vs Frog feature lets students compare how our respiratory, circulator and digestive systems compare to that of the recently disemboweled amphibian and a Quiz feature lets you test what students have just learned. Then it all gets a bit frog-heavy, with information and videos on different types of frogs.
How could it benefit the classroom?
Frog Dissection is far from cross-curricular, but it is a very strong example of an app that teaches a particular process very well. It’s also fun, mess-free and ultimately saves the lives of frogs while still hitting the learning outcomes you’d get from a real dissection. It’s also infinitely repeatable, so students can go back again and again to learn the information without having to repeat the process. A perfect, very well implemented example of the capabilities of a multitouch device for learning.
How much and where can I get it?
The only downside of Frog Dissection (Emantras Inc) is that it costs £2.49, but as it’s available under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, if you buy more than 20 licences, you get a 50% discount making it just £1.24. Head to the App Store or download it from iTunes.
– Missed last week’s app? Read our review of Apple’s iMovie here.
Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.