Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dissecting Frog App for High School.

The following is a blog entry from the Science Department at Sullivan Heights.  Najinder Gill critiques an app she used in her Biology 11 course.

When I found out Najinder  dissected frogs in her classroom, I asked her if she was interested in doing a virtual dissection, and being one who loves to try something new, she agreed.  We talked for a while, she signed out an ipad to look  at Frog Dissection app for the iPad and off she went.  The interesting thing about Najinder's concept was she wanted to use the app for students that missed the live dissection since students couldn't do the dissection without supervision.  But she couldn't be in two places at once (continuing on with her class and catching the student up with what was missed).  She believed this was the perfect solution to that problem.  Below is Najinder's assessment of the app and the worksheet she used with the program is linked here as well as below.  Thank you Najinder Gill for sharing out there.


The frog dissection app is a very good app to use in place of doing actual dissection.  It is an app that I will be using with my classes. Reasons why the teacher may choose to do the virtual dissection: less expensive, if student is absent on day of dissection it is an easy makeup lab, for students who can’t handle doing a dissection, more ethical, students less likely to mess up the dissection, easier clean up, ….

The app has many things available on it – dissection, background information on frogs, life cycle, videos,….  Positives of the app: includes relevant background information of frog, includes how frogs develop, the dissection is quick and there is little room for mistakes,  all the internal parts of the frog are clearly seen (which may not be the case when you do an actual dissection).  The videos are simple and good visuals to show how the digestive and respiratory systems work.  The quiz is a great way of ending the lab which not only focusses on the frog but also the lab techniques used. Sometimes it is difficult to explain to students how to cut open the frog and what tools to use so the app helps with this.

Critique: I think  students need to be guided on how to use the app and that they don’t just jump to the dissection without going through the background information first. To help with this  I have included a handout to use with the app which guides students through the app. The app doesn’t show the difference between a male or female frog.

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