Partner : Tony Varga
The four apps we chose were Frog Dissection , Rat Dissection , Science 360 and Brain Pop.
“Frog Dissection” is a biology educational app. This app does exactly what it says, it allows you to virtually dissect a frog on your iPad. The app guides you step by step as you use gestures to dissect a virtual frog on the screen. Frog Dissection receives nearly universal praise wherever I looked. Most reviewers praised how useful the app was, how easy it is to use, and how informative the app was. In a conclusion of a review from wirededucator.com, the reviewer wrote “Best Science app we have ever reviewed. A perfect match for the iPad. Should be in every Science classroom. Well done.” However, the app has received criticism for a lack of content. A biology teacher posted a review on iTunes that said “Disappointing. Organs are not dissected. Information is good.”
Rat Dissection is an app that you can virtually dissect a rat instead of doing the real thing. The key features of the app are vivid 3D images of rat’s internal organs, step by step instructions with voiceover, accurate simulation of the wet lab dissection procedure and the content validation by subject matter experts. Most of the reviews were about how good the app was but they did say it could never replace the actual dissection itself. The review from padgadget.com said “It’s unlikely dissection apps such as these will completely replace the traditional experience students get during a biology class, but they are a great addition to the tools teachers have to help their students learn”. According to an iTunes review “I’m interested in how science is presented on the iPad . I thought this app provided a good approximation of a real dissection. Kudos to developer(s), it would be cool if it integrated a quiz”.
“Science360” is an app that collects new and interesting scientific videos and articles. From the app, you can click on a thumbnail of a video or picture, which will pull up the video or a high-definition full-screen picture and a summary of the information. Like Frog Dissection, Science360 has been received very well by both app users and reviewers. This app was reviewed on the website ipadinsight.com, where the reviewer stated that Science360 is “a great educational app and one that almost sneaks up on you in a way – because it’s so engaging it feels more like fun than learning.”
Brain Pop Featured Movie App is an app that allows you to watch a different animated movie every day, then tests your new knowledge with a free interactive quiz. Majority of the reviews for this app said it was a great app but there were some minor problems. In iTunes one review was “The app is good,but it could use more movies. If it was just like the website on the computer,that would be great. Also, if the screen was full-sized, that would be good”. The review from iear.org is “BrainPOP.com gives you access to several free videos, but in the iPad, you can only access today’s featured movie”.