Frog Dissection, by Emantras Inc, is a virtual frog dissection app that is scientifically accurate. A clever concept for the iPad; a tool that may do a better job teaching than the actual hands on experience. Many students struggle with a real dissection, often mangling the specimen and the whole experience can be a turnoff to some. We asked three science teachers and a group of students to try this app out and here is what the science teachers had to say: Love the graphics and animations! The ease of use is terrific! Instructions on lab technique are great. Really like the additional information on the various internal organ system. The videos are an added bonus. The quizzes after the dissection are great, being able to see scores on quizzes is important, immediate feedback. They did have a few suggestions that could make this app even better: More videos, more quizzes, and more quiz questions. They also felt that definitions for some terms would be helpful, even needed: i.e. poiklothermous, bifid, and ovoid. The students had their own take on this app. Being digital natives they were very comfortable with the tool and explored every crevice possible. They worked in pairs and had no trouble taking turns. The added benefit of learning about each organ had just the right amount of text and they did spend time on these pages (though some of the vocabulary was verbose). Students also loved the quiz and commented on how it was not your standard format. There's a mix of multiple choice questions, drag and drop labeling, and sequential activities. When they didn't score what they considered well enough, they went back and went through the dissection process again to raise their quiz score. This is every teacher's dream, to inspire independent learning and see students strive to do better! This iPad app lets you dissect a frog using instruments – pins, scalpel, scissors, marker, and forceps. There are step-by-step instructions read aloud, detailed labeling, and 3D views of the organs which give an extremely real feel to this virtual dissection. From what we've read Subject Matter Experts (SME) were involved in taking this frog dissection app from its conceptualization to its final execution. We feel that they have done a wonderful job. As for constructive criticism: the use of some unusual vocabulary, the mis-spelling of leopard frog as leapard, and some grammatical errors. We have watched this app update and make huge improvements along the way. This virtual dissection gives students an experience-like feel of an actual live dissection, formaldehyde free, without the mess of a wet lab. We recommend this app for the upper grades: Intermediate School through College... but that's not to say a younger child can't give it a shot and learn something.
Written by Jayne Clare
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.