Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2015
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The Human Body by Tinybop

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Interactive anatomy atlas has great learning potential, some guidance

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Teachers say (4 Reviews)
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2-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Loaded with fascinating images, interactivity, and vocabulary.

Cons: No instructions, formal games, or activities within the app -- but there's a free guide available.

Bottom Line: Creative, interactive app for human body education, especially suited to kids who enjoy free play.

The Human Body can introduce human anatomy to students in a fun way. Use the dozens of ideas from the downloadable guide to tailor lessons to each of the seven models, or take kids on a delightful journey through how the body reacts to various stimuli (such as mosquito bites, scents, or yummy-tasting foods) via interactive whiteboard presentations. For more details about classroom use, the developers suggest contacting them via the Support section on the Tinybop website.

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The Human Body by Tinybop presents the human body's senses and organ systems as seven interactive, layered models. There are no verbal or written instructions, although there is a free downloadable guide within the app and on the Tinybop website with instructions and ideas for how to use this free-play tool effectively. Each model highlights important structures like bones, lymph nodes, the heart, and intestines. Kids can see how smelling flowers or being bitten by a mosquito sets off reactions in the body that cause the brain to process that sensory information. Kids can record audio observations or questions on each page. Teachers can create a user account for each student, then create another account to track activity.

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The Human Body by Tinybop provides up-close, ultra-engaging ways for kids to learn about the sensory systems and organ systems within their bodies. There's potential for some great learning here: Kids who prefer directed play may not feel comfortable with the lack of instruction, but teachers can download the free handbook and get instructions and ideas for how to guide their students through the app and its super-cool features. Each model includes movements and sounds, and text labels can be toggled on or off. With 50 different languages available, it can also be an interesting way to learn human body vocabulary in other languages. Overall, this app is an attractive way to offer kids their first look at human biology and anatomy; it's definitely worth a look.

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Overall Rating

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

Beautiful, layered models with fun animations will delight kids. Adding instructions or suggestions for how to explore models could increase engagement for kids who prefer more guided exploration.

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

There aren't any formal games or activities; instead, kids mostly learn via free play, and kids can add commentary in record mode. Labels provide detailed anatomy and biology vocabulary, and a handbook provides direction and ideas.

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

Creating an account allows parents and teachers to track multiple users' play. The downloadable handbook provides solid ideas, extension activities, and resources.

Teacher Reviews

(See all 4 reviews) (4 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Greg M. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
What do I Look like from the Inside?

As a teaching tool that supplements instruction and discussion, this is the tool to use in the upper elementary classroom. I wouldn’t recommend the app if you wanted something self directed,as it lends itself to discussion. Used as an extension to a small group or whole group lesson and discussion, this app will help tremendously. It enables the student to focus on the systems and organs as well as giving them hands on experience with each in a “cartoonish” way. This interaction helps make it easier for students that might have weak stomachs and may have a rough time dealing with real images. It also engages students in the effects of outside variables (as well as internal) like different foods, tactile stimulants, and virus and bacteria. Students can also label the differents parts of the systems and organs assisting in the understanding of where things are in your body. However, there is no explanation as to what the organs do. There is the ability to record audio notes within the application, which provides an effective assessment or it be used as a student's own science journal. The notes can’t be exported, but will be saved under the student's account. Speaking of the student account… On the home screen of the app there is a “+” and the student needs to create an account. This is just an “in app” account and isn’t linked to anything online. Students need to select their gender, a background color and name, and they will be ready to take advantage of the app. Each time they return to the app that account will be saved as will any audio notes that have been recorded.
My overall impression of the app is good, and if you were going to use it to help guide instruction, then I would recommend it because it carries the $3.99 price tag. It’s not one for simple “sit and get”.

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