Fun science: The human body
With fun facts, this engaging app is designed to teach children about the human body in a practical manner, through the story of Stefanie and her dream to become a doctor. With excellent graphics and real-life sounds throughout, this factual and clean app removes the goriness often associated with the learning about the human body, yet at the same time, it manages to introduce concepts in emotive, as well as scientific, manner.
Wow, what an introduction! Upon opening the app, children are immediately immersed into a powerful introduction from Stefanie. Inspired to become a doctor, after receiving a tablet for her birthday, she set about creating an app with the help of her father, to teach other children the basic concepts of the human body. The captivating introduction goes on to explain her motivations, presented alongside excellent graphics and assisted by real-life hospital sounds and noises.
After the introduction, children are taken to the homepage - a table of contents. From here, they can learn about the “Digestive System”; “Bones and the Skeleton”; “Muscles”; “Lungs and Breathing”; and the “Heart and Blood”. Prior to exploring the topics, users should visit the “Introduction” section where they will, clearly and simply, be taken through a graphical explanation of app's key features include: "Sound", "Info" and "Video". As children work their way through the app, they are able to listen to sounds relevant to the topic, for example, the heart beating or the lungs taking in oxygen. Similarly, at points, they can click on of the body to discover more information about these parts. Finally, the introductory videos often link the scientific concepts to the real life needs of an aspiring doctor, as narrated by Stefanie. This multimedia content, brought together through a range of colourful graphics and pencil-drawing photos, is used to illustrate and bring to life scientific concepts, engaging the user, throughout the app.
The topics are covered using clear and accurate language, with just enough information to engage, but not bore. Such subject matter is normally explored in Key Stage 2, however much of the content is relevant to children as they grow up, so is suitable for a range of audiences. Most topics are presented in factual way to begin with, then supplemented by personal thoughts from Stefanie. Despite this content, a great addition would be links to interesting websites or even Wikipedia, which would extend the scope of this app and allow children the opportunity to really explore the content should a topic appeal to them. An interesting quirk is the emotive aspect introduced by this app - the story of Stefanie who aspires to be a doctor when she grows up. Children can easily empathise with the feelings portrayed by this young child through her story, and therefore may engage more with the app as they relate to her ambitions (as well as the scientific content).
Controversially, it might be argued that the app is an excellent school or home project, created by a young girl learning to design her first mobile app and incorporating all the multimedia elements as part of this project. On the other hand, it could also be seen as an engaging app which tells the story of Stefanie and her dream to become a doctor, teaching the elements of the human body along the way. Either way, the app will act as a great starting point for those learning about the human body.
Overall, worthy of its four-star rating with great graphics, relevant sounds, and the content introduced clearly and succinctly.
From the Developer
The most pleasant and effective way to teach children anatomy, how to be healthy and how the human body works
by Dr Fanou an e-learning researcher
More than 80 screens/pages long
Appropriate for both school and home learning
Can be included as part of science in grades 1,2,3,4 or 5
Free DEMO version available, in Play store search for Goovoocleo
It is about the story of Stefanie who wants to have a career in medicine when she grows up. Stefanie starts learning how the human body works and how to be healthy. Users learn by following the story of Stefanie. This app does not have the feel of a pure science book. It uses a technique of teaching science which incorporates storytelling. The fictional aspect of the app which involves the story of Stefanie appeals to children's feelings making the title more attractive and entertaining. The app addresses both the emotions and intellect of a child.
The title teaches anatomy and how to keep healthy in a very pleasant way and without presenting unattractive images of the internals of the human body. On each screen children can hear sounds, discover videos, animations, and attractive images. This compels them to go through all the screens in order to discover and at the same time learn in an enjoyable way.
To make learning interesting, fun and effective the app uses:
- Videos of Stefanie role playing and demonstrating ideas
- Animations which visualize concepts making them easier to understand
- Attractive graphics
- Voice over
This title is:
- A serious educational resource for the home or an educational institution
- Developed by Dr Fanou an e-learning researcher, with the suggestions of children of the targeted age group
- Designed by children for other children (child-to-child design)
- Tested by children of the targeted age group
- Offers quality educational content of some length typical of a book
- Uses effective and research proven e-learning pedagogy
- The material is presented in a non-confusing fashion appropriate for children
- Contains video, animation and interactivity at the proper places and the correct quantity to engage rather than distract a child
- Uses vector graphics which do not lose their quality on any size screen
Dr. S. Fanou holds a BA degree in Interactive Arts and Media from Columbia College in Chicago, USA. A masters degree in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and a PhD from the University of the West of England, UK. He has conducted research in e-learning and software accessibility. Dr. Fanou has more than ten years experience in the fields of e-learning, software engineering and computing.
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