Do you remember the dreaded frog dissection in high school? I do. It was miserable. Turns out I’m good at a lot of things but frog dissection – not so much. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the strong suit of my lab partner either. In the end we mutilated the poor dead frog and had to look at another lab group’s just to take the practical. Not the best learning experience since more than the anatomy of the frog I just remember what a disgustingly bad job we did!
Apparently, some of today’s students can be spared this horror. A new app lets you virtually dissect frogs. The awesomeness here is multitude – no nasty frog mess, you can’t mutilate it accidentally, you can learn the anatomy without the frog nastiness, no frogs need be hurt in the making of this lab experiment.
There are many interesting ways that emerging technologies are changing the way we do things, but I think that some of the most interesting applications are in educations settings (and apparently so does Mashable who has had several articles on best education apps lately – here, and here).
My brother teaches and has this nifty thing called a Smart Board in his room. It lets him do some really neat interactive stuff with his class including doing review games like Jeopardy and fun critical thinking and problem solving scenarios. It allows students to interact directly with the content displayed on the board individually or in groups. His students beg to learn when the Smart Board is involved.
There seem to be a plethora of ways that technology is involved in today’s classroom and in education more broadly from educational apps, to online tutoring, to research. Some of it is great – clearly. Some applications of technology seem to be less so as we’ve seen with reports of rampant cheating at some of our nation’s top schools. But there are also great online tools to help teachers identify plagiarism and cheating.
Technology in education is a two way street, but I think that there are many more benefits than there are negatives. What do you wish there had been an app for when you were in school?