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Get Down and Dirty with These Immersive Apps for Science Class

by Kelly Walsh on March 10, 2016

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AppEdReview-Roundup

Chemistry, Biology, Geography, and More Will Come to Life With These Exciting, Highly Rated Apps!

Hands-on experiences are second to none for learning, so this month’s Roundup is dedicated to hands-on science apps. Whether the app is designed to shrink students down to the size of a cell so they can tour its different parts, offers a safe way to experience earthquakes and dissections, or the chance to shake up chemicals, this Roundup is uniquely designed around the student experience. With new science apps being released weekly, these handpicked apps are worth your time to learn and use in the classroom.

As part of our review process, each app review in our database includes an original app description, comprehensive evaluation, and 3-5 instructional ideas for using it in your classroom. We hope you enjoy our app picks for this month!

  1. HudsonAlpha iCell lets students explore three-dimensional maps of plant, animal, and bacteria cells from a 360-degree perspective by dragging their finger across their tablet’s screen. As they do, students can tap the different elements of the cells, and the app will provide them with descriptions of the tapped elements’ functions. Plus, students can select the rigor level of the descriptions that ranges from basic, intermediate, and advanced. Though students can view a cell under a microscope in a classroom, the multiple perspective and immediate descriptions of the cell’s elements offer students additional experiences and information that cannot be replicated via a microscope. With its unique interface, this app scored an 8.9 for its design and it has high potential for student engagement. To learn more about Hudson Alpha iCell, click here.
  2. Earthquake Simulator 2D is a great way to illustrate earthquake science with a hands-on demonstration. Users build structures with blocks of different lengths and heights. Next, users input a magnitude for the earthquake simulation. Then, users can test their structures and view the science of how the structures are influenced by the quake. Check out an app lesson featuring this app here. For the full review, instructional ideas, and more, follow this link.
  3. Mammalian Organ Dissection Lite allows students to investigate mammals’ organ systems, inclusive of the brain, eye, heart, and kidney. The app includes detailed images, descriptions, diagrams, and quizzes for each organ. Although the elements in the app could be taught using paper-and-pencil activities, the app houses them all in one location, which makes them more accessible and usable to teachers and students alike. Plus, its unique interface lets students dissect animals digitally, which has great implications for the science classroom. With its high scores for design and connections to future learning, science teachers will definitely be able to use this app in the classroom. For ideas how, click here!
  4. Looking for a fun app to use in the chemistry classroom? ChemCrafter allows students to mix volatile chemicals together safely. In the app, students purchase chemicals, mix chemicals, learn about the reactions taking place, and earn awards for performing different experiments. With its strengths in Design and Instruction, ChemCrafter scored a 7.5. out of 10 on our comprehensive evaluation rubric. See the full review here.

That’s all for this month’s Roundup. If you would like more information about any of the apps mentioned here or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.org. And remember, science can engage students in some many ways, and apps can be part of that engagement!

 

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded EmergingEdTech.com. He frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, regularly running Flipped Class Workshops online. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by kwalshmusic.com and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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