Review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2015
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Arloon Anatomy | The Human Body

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Explore the human body from the inside out

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Science
  • Health & Wellness
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
5-12
Common Sense says (See details)
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5 images

Pros: Kids are given a guided tour through the systems of the body with engaging opportunities to manipulate 3-D images.

Cons: More interactive features would help: it's missing teacher tracking, creation opportunities, and sharing capabilities.

Bottom Line: An interactive 3-D simulation that lets kids dive into the human body and learn about how it works along the way.

Teachers can use this app to help students learn about the structure and function of the human body.  It is best used when students each have their own device so they can manipulate the images as they see fit. This allows students to immerse themselves and explore before tackling the Exercises to test what they have learned. Teachers working with younger children should know that the body represented in most of the systems is female, so many illustrations include a shadow of a bare breast.

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Arloon Anatomy | The Human Body is one of a growing list of interactive 3-D human anatomy tools. This app’s simulations are paired with informational slides that walk you through the body as they describe how it works. Users can manipulate and learn the parts of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, nervous, skeletal, muscular, and reproductive systems. Arloon has also included an augmented-reality component that uses built-in device cameras to map body images onto students’ actual world.

Students can also complete assessment exercises, which can be adjusted for time and the number of questions. This allows users to tailor the experience for their needs, and it makes the app equally usable by middle school students and pre-meds. Some questions simply ask users to select a specified organ on the image, while others provide a definition and require students to know the function of an organ and pinpoint its location.

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Arloon Anatomy | The Human Body stands out from other interactive anatomy programs because users move through the 3-D simulation as they read text describing the processes that go on in that portion of the system. While tools like Biodigital Human have additional community sharing opportunities and disease states for the body, this app's best features are its 3-D simulations. Powerful images make the user feel like a piece of food going through the digestive system or like air sliding past the nose hairs into the body.

Videos on the developer's website make it seem like Arloon’s augmented-reality features allow the 3-D images to be mapped exactly onto a moving human body. In practice, this tool works better with Arloon’s small square print-out where, as you move it around in front of the device’s camera, the image follows. However, this feature loses its cool factor pretty quickly when students realize it's easier to simply move around the image on the screen itself. Some users might be disappointed that they can't reproduce this neat feature in quite the way that the developer's videos suggest. That being said, there are some terrific interactive features available here that let kids explore the body in meaningful detail.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Detailed illustrations draw students in as they learn about how each organ interacts with the next. Kid-friendly language and immersive simulations make kids feel like they're inside the body.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids explore anatomy in their own way, looking beyond memorization and gaining deep understanding of how body parts and systems work together. It would be even better if kids could add their own annotations or save their images.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Content is available in English and Spanish and features text descriptions ideal for hearing-impaired students. Tutorials or sharing features would make it even better.


Common Sense Reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

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