Teacher Review for Bones

K-8? Don't bother.

Jonathan F.
Technology coordinator
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
Washington, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
How I Use It
One of our elementary science teachers and I explored this app for potential use with students. He helped review Tiny Bop's Human Body, and we hoped this app might be useful along similar lines. We ended up concluding that the app would not work well in a K-8 setting. It might be useful in a university setting, but even in high school it might have only limited potential.
My Take
The "Bones" button within the app provides a page for each bone that pronounces its name, shows a picture, and provides a link to a Wikipedia article about it. Hearing how to pronounce the name is useful, but the picture would have been more useful if it were a real medical image instead of what appears to be a retro-style charcoal drawing. K-8 teachers might not be thrilled to discover that what appears to be a self-contained app actually routes students to the their device’s web browser to display a Wikipedia article. With sentences like, "Towards the middle on the anterior surface the deep concavity of the nasal notch is the limiting feature," we estimated the reading level to be above high school. If you're searching for specific bones, you may find the text search feature of limited use. The terms “finger, “pinky,” “nose,” and even “cranium” yielded no results, although “cranial” does. The visual search came the closest to being useful for K-8 purposes. You can tap a bone and learn its name. The downside is that pinching and spreading gestures for zooming did not work smoothly, so it’s hard to tap the bone you want. We often ended up selecting something by accident while we were attempting to zoom. Also, once you tap a bone, you need to hit the “back” button before you can tap another one. That takes some of the joy out of the exploration. The video feature was the most disappointing. It lead to a series of videos entitled “Doctor, Doctor” that discussed medical things but didn’t necessarily discuss anything about bones. That was the case, at least, with the two videos we tried. In sum, the app provided little useful content for students our age, and using the app was not especially intuitive.