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App review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
DK The Human Body App

DK The Human Body App

Terrific reference tool with impressive illustrations, supporting text

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Grades
8–12
Subjects & Skills
Science, Health & Wellness, Critical Thinking

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5 images

Pros: Interactive features boost the amazingly detailed content and illustrations.

Cons: There are no built-in challenges or assessments to test knowledge.

Bottom Line: This comprehensive digital reference tool teaches kids about the human body in great detail, but if you want to formally assess learning, you'll have to do some of the legwork.

For a human anatomy unit, DK The Human Body App would be a great digital learning tool. As you introduce each body system, have students use the app to explore the system, taking notes about the organs and other structures. Then assign small groups to a chapter within the system and have groups create a poster or other visual presentation, along with quiz questions about their presentations, to share with the class. Kids who watch the presentation can answer the quiz questions. You could also use the app to review a body system by having students turn off the labels on the system and quiz each other in small groups.

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DK The Human Body App is organized into three levels: systems, chapters, and stories. Kids get started by tapping a system on the home screen, and then a labeled image of the system with tappable hotspots appears. Kids can turn off the labels and hotspots if they want. Chapters within each system cover more detailed topics, and story boxes within chapters focus on single aspects of the topics. For example, when kids tap on the respiratory system, they can view and learn details about each organ in the system. Then, within this system, kids can access the chapters "Lungs" and "Breathing and Vocalization." Tap the story box in each chapter to learn even more. A search feature lets kids explore content using key terms.

This fantastic interactive app teaches kids about human anatomy. By viewing incredibly detailed illustrations and reading supporting text, kids learn about 12 human body systems: integrated body, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, integumentary (skin, hair, and nails), lymphatic and immune, digestive, urinary, and reproductive. Once kids choose a system on the home page, a labeled image of the system appears. Kids can zoom in, turn for a 360-degree view, and click on hotspots and other features to learn more. Animated videos help explain some of the topics, which supports visual and auditory learning.

Kids may be overwhelmed by the vast amount of information available, so using the Help feature is a good way to get kids started. Kids with different learning styles would benefit from some sort of text-to-speech feature, which isn't currently an option. A built-in challenge to help kids apply and assess what they learn would be nice.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Gorgeous illustrations with interactive elements will grab kids' attention.

Pedagogy

Learning is self-guided. Labels and tappable features provide detailed information. Scored games or assessments would help kids who want to track learning progress.

Support

While navigation is relatively easy, there's so much information that kids might feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, the Help option explains the various features and how to access information.


Common Sense reviewer
Debbie Gorrell Educator

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