Frog Dissection is an educational iPad app from Punflay, This PeTA-award-winning app is like a detailed instructional guide for the iPad that simulates the frog dissection procedure minus the mess and smell. The app has been conceptualized and designed in consultation with subject matter experts who validated the entire development process to ensure accuracy and usability of content. It is suitable for children in middle and high school and can act as a supplement or substitute to a real dissection.
So how does the app work?
You begin by selecting the dissection instruments-pins, scalpel, marker and forceps from a tray and pin down the virtual specimen. Follow the rest of the steps with the help of detailed written instructions along with voice over. Learning is enhanced through vivid 3D imaging that helps in visualizing the frog’s anatomy effectively. The complete dissection sequence will give the user a feel for the real thing without ever having to step into a wet lab.
Apart from walking the student through the virtual procedure, the app also has additional features that make it a more comprehensive learning tool. Teachers will find the segment on classification and life-cycle of frogs particularly useful. A comparison of human vs. frog anatomy is also included in the app.
What’s in it for teachers and students?
Depending on the age group and intended outcome of this segment of the biology curriculum, here’s how we think the app can be used in the classroom. If dissection is part of the curriculum and your school is considering offering alternatives, then Frog Dissection can be used in lieu of the real thing.
Frog Dissection can also be used as a supplement to live dissection. In this case, teachers could first do a demo of the app in class and then follow it by allowing students to complete the real procedure in the lab. This approach will come handy especially for those who are a bit squeamish about the live procedure and would rather try a virtual procedure first.
For those in middle school, the app can be used as a demo in class. Following the demo, the teacher could divide the class into small groups and have them try the app to learn more about dissection and amphibians.
At under $5 from the app store it is definitely worth a look.