Teacher Review For Rat Dissection

Effectively replicates a rat dissection virtually by providing pictorial cues and modelling proper technique.

Jeff A.
Classroom teacher
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School (Los Angeles, CA)
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 3
Pedagogy 2
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Knowledge gain
Small group
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with ELL
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
Rat Dissection for iPad is a Simple, aesthetically-pleasing, support tool for learners struggling with literacy, and needing visual representations for dissection techniques and identified organs. For my 9th grade Biology class, it was easy to design a cookbook-style rat dissection investigation around it. Beautiful as it is, I found it mostly useful as a whole class walkthrough where students take notes on segments they see as potential pitfalls or difficulties in the dissection process. Then, when students do the real dissection, they feel more comfortable working independently because they’ve had increased exposure to the scientific terminology, lab etiquette, and had a chance to refine their tactics. Students are prepared for what is to come, and subsequently learn more as they are ready to digest the wealth of information a dissection teaches.
My Take
It’s hard to deny the fact that his app is artfully designed and provides a valuable educational purpose. The relatively narrow focus and capability limits how this app can be applied in the classroom, however, and that might stop teachers from purchasing it. Flash card-esque examples provide solid organ definitions along with pictorial representations to guide student exploration. Unfortunately, there is not much student free reign outside of this. For a paid app, I would to see more robust capabilities such as inquiry investigations, student responses and other interactive games incorporated.