The featured learning applications from the Apple App Store this week are life science apps. Life science lends itself to be hands-on and engaging. Visual tools including websites, videos, and photos are easily accessible for teaching this topic. Apps are especially useful to assist in teaching this topic because of this interactive nature. Life science topics include biology, anatomy, physiology, plants, animals, reference tools, games, and application of life science. Here are a few of the interesting apps that you can find via the Life Science Learning Apps on Apple.
Butterfly Migration Game
National Geographic’s Great Migrations App is a very timely app. Monarch butterflies begin their migration north around this time of year, depending on the weather. In this game-style app students have to help guide the monarch butterflies through various weather, geographical, predator-related and physical challenges, similar to what butterflies will encounter on their journey north. There are several levels and modes (other animals that migrate) that make this app adaptable for students of a variety of levels. This would be a great way to introduce a unit about butterflies or even to conclude your unit.
This app is based off of a series that National Geographic created called Great Migrations. There are videos and an extensive website about the various animal migrations that happen each year. This would also be a great learning resource for the classroom.
Easy Dissection is an app for students to learn the biology of a frog. This tool can be used as a pre-learning resource before students actually dissect the animal or as a dissection alternative. Pins easily identify the parts of the frog and students can easily zoom in and out on the organs of the animal with a swipe of their finger. The images are of an actual frog, not an animated image of a frog, so students can see what the actual organs look like, not just a cartoon image.
Another frog dissection app is called Frog Dissection. This app is more interactive where students get to cut, pin back, and dissect the virtual frog. Labels include the function of the organ, lifecycle, and classification.
EcoBugs is a super fun free educational app. There is setup required both physically and electronically that must be done by the teacher to plan the activity. Teachers should login and create an account on the Eco Bug website. Then they have to setup the habitats for the location of the virtual bugs. There is a teacher’s resource packet available on their website to help in setting up the activity and planting the locations of the bugs.
The app is downloaded to the iPod Touch or iPad and then the students are sent on a journey around the school location that the teacher chose to find virtual bugs based on the habitats that you set up. Students working in teams will use the iPod Touch to bait, name, and classify the bugs. The more bugs a group catches the more the points they earn. There are 13 additional activities for the students can complete after they have located the bugs. These activities include learning about the compass rose, classifying bugs, food chain, habitats, sorting, and identification.
What other great life science apps have you used in your classroom? Feel free to share by commenting below.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By Digital Sextant