Great way to get students to interact with building cells and looking deeper into diseases of cells.
Build-a-cell is a really great, interactive, and informative way to engage students in cell structures. It included many different types of cells and even extends it into looking at different cellular diseases and what the disease does to the cell. I really appreciate the detail and information that each part of the cell allows students to gain information and review. It does need a bit more guiding information and a way to listen to each description or to translate the information into other languages for EL learners.
It was a bit time consuming to get signed up and logged in. They do provide a code that students can use to sign up and be added to your class. I can't imagine getting all of my students onto the program (I only put one class onto the program). There are other programs that I can have them get into and use that are interactive.
How I Use It
I used this to help students review cells and cell formation. I had them build the different types of cells and read about each part that they built. I had them fill in notes as they went through the website to ensure learning. I then had them choose one disease and find the part of the cell it affected. They then had to keep track how long it took to get the correct answer. The students loved it and really liked the interactive part. Some students were really lost in the explanations that the websites give. I had to come explain a lot but it was really good to hear the questions that the students were asking me.