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Pros: Kids can examine, in great detail, over 5,000 anatomical parts and animations from any angle.
Cons: Stick with the serviceable basic membership.
Bottom Line: This visually stunning, incredibly useful way to virtually explore the human body is a must for the anatomy classroom.
You can refer your middle school students to BioDigital as a free and engaging resource. It's a great option for kids interested in careers in medicine. High school anatomy and physiology teachers or post-secondary educators might consider the additional Premium membership: this way you can customize lessons and share them easily with your students. Interactive quizzes work as a great formative assessment. The virtual dissections and medical procedure guides will appeal to all medically inclined students.
BioDigital is a website (and Chrome app) that offers a dramatic virtual 3D simulation of the human body. It can be used to explore human anatomy as well as teaching about various health conditions. It's a great tool for learners ranging from middle school kids fascinated with the human body to medical students (there's also a professional version for actual doctors to use).
You can zoom in and out and enter the various layers of each anatomical animation with a few clicks of a mouse. (BioDigital works best on a computer with a mouse containing a scroll wheel.) Descriptions are provided in combination with interactive visualizations of hundreds of health conditions. Click on the lung's right superior lobe and get a pop-up window filled with info, or listen to an audio segment about breathing.
This amazing body visualization platform offers unprecedented access to the human body, for free. (A premium individual membership may be expensive and unnecessary for a middle school student.) However, any student taking anatomy in high school or beyond will find the additional tools very helpful. The ability to annotate, personalize, and save items will move anatomy studies beyond simple memorization into another class: a clearer understanding of the human body.
It's really a sight to behold, and kids can engage with and make sense of the body in their own way; with this site, their learning will last longer than the traditional "memorize and dump" after the test. Kids can also bookmark, save, and share their personalized visualizations, letting them build understanding together. Interactive quizzes also allow kids to manipulate an image and look at it from all angles before attempting to identify a part. Immediate feedback helps kids learn from mistakes and identify their strengths.