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.
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.