Anatomy 4D will initially excite students with its augmented-reality features, which are definitely cool. However, students will likely get frustrated quickly because they'll have to move the piece of paper around to get body parts to move on the screen. Kids may have a hard time holding up their device and moving the paper in just the right way.
While Anatomy 4D is not quite ready for classroom use, individual students might find it fun to play around with. Advanced students might want to work on creating their own 4D-enabled documents about the human body and view them using the free DAQRI app.Continue reading Show less
Anatomy 4D is a free app that uses augmented reality to let students interact with the human body. Kids must first print out a 4D-enabled image of the human body or heart from the app's Target Library. Then the app uses the camera on the device to bring to life a three-dimensional pulsing image.
A rotating menu allows students to turn on or off the blood flow to the heart. Students can also remove and bring back body parts such as the aorta, helping them in anatomy identification. Users must be 17 years old to download the app, which is surprising since the images aren't especially mature or graphic.
In a market flooded with interactive anatomy websites and apps, Anatomy 4D needs further development before it will be useful in high school classrooms. Currently, the only two images available in the Target Library are the human body and the heart; students can peek at the different body systems but they can't go very deep. Other apps may cost more money but offer significantly more interaction and learning potential.
To meet the high school expectations for the Next Generation Science Standards, Anatomy 4D will need to add the ability to click on body parts to find specific functions. Without those features, this app is a mostly passive affair that won't enhance students' science knowledge. Formative assessment tools and ways to track student learning are also missing; these and other interactive features would significantly boost the tool's learning potential.
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