Using Visible Body in the High School Classroom: Questions and Answers
Posted on 5/8/18 by Andra Bowditch
At Visible Body, we’re always excited to meet high school teachers and show them our visual human biology content because, inevitably, the first reaction is, “Wow, cool! My students would get so much out of this!”
The second reaction usually comes in the form of questions about best practices, steps to take when starting to use virtual anatomy models, and how to show other educators on their team that using technology to reach students has great results. We've collected the most asked questions and our best answers in this post, so read on!
See how 3D anatomy works in this overview of the new Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 site license.
“This is so cool, but I’m trying to imagine: how do instructors use interactive visual anatomy like Visible Body in the classroom?"
Here are just a few ways teachers use Visible Body in the classroom and beyond:
- In lecture: Introduce a new topic with a one-minute-long physiology animation, or project 3D models of anatomical structures to point out features and show relationships. (Here is an example of a presentation on the urinary system!)
- In lab: Use the Augmented Reality feature of iPads or Android tablets to place a virtual heart or other organ on a lab table. Students can view it through the frame of their tablet, walk around it, dissect it, and identify its parts. (Here are some lab activities we offer for free and some demonstration videos.)
- For homework and quizzing: You can embed assignments in your school's LMS (like Blackboard or Canvas) or use our own Courseware. (More about this on our Courseware product page.)
“Am I just setting myself up for more work? How much time does it take to learn 3D anatomy apps and use them in the classroom? I’m stretched as it is!”
"Fast to learn and easy to remember.” That's our design philosophy! In a couple of minutes you can start using the 3D interactive apps; within an hour you'll know the software well enough to create 3D interactive anatomy lessons that match your curriculum. Check out our minute-long tutorial videos.
- Learn how to rotate and zoom into 3D anatomy models.
- Review the learning objects students can master as they work through the content in one of our apps, Anatomy & Physiology.
- Turn a 3D model set into an augmented reality demonstration or use our AR with our free lab activities in Human Anatomy Atlas.
“What about my students? How will students benefit from turning my lab or classroom into a virtual anatomy or anatomy in augmented reality experience?”
We pulled together some of the research on using technology to teach anatomy in this blog post. Here is a quick summary:
- Students are accustomed to using visual interactive apps for both work and play. With Visible Body, students will be equipped to study in a way they enjoy—and at a speed they manage themselves.
- Difficult concepts will be easier to grasp and to remember when using vivid visuals to illustrate them. Instead of reading lengthy written materials, students will be viewing short animations and rotating, zooming in/out, and dissecting 3D models.
- Students will be able to delve more deeply into topics of interest, review difficult topics whenever they need to, or preview topics before they are introduced in the classroom. Additionally, practice quizzes allow for self-assessment.
- If Visible Body’s Augmented Reality is used in the lab, these kinds of cutting-edge, interactive, experiential, and stimulating learning opportunities greatly increase student interest and engagement and provide them with information in a mode that they seek out and enjoy.
“We’ve invested a lot already in our lab, and the students really benefit from their work with the specimens and models. Would our old lab materials go to waste?”
Some instructors use 3D anatomy technology instead of specimens or plastic models; others use the apps in conjunction with traditional lab environments to enhance learning.
Visible Body enhances students' learning by contextualizing lab work within the whole of the human body. Furthermore, Visible Body vastly expands the number of models available for examination, giving your students the opportunity to view thousands of 3D anatomical structures in isolation or in context, including structures deep inside the body or microanatomy such as tissues and sensory organs.
“I know the IT department will want to understand how this works…. What do I tell them?”
Visible Body Courseware is a web-based product. You don't have to install anything extra to use it on most PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks.
You can share the system requirements for our apps with your IT team:
In order for students to gain access to the software, instructors provide students a code. Students use that code to set up an account within minutes.
For students who want to use Visible Body apps on their personal smartphones or tablets for study and reference purposes, these same codes can be used to download the Visible Body apps.
If your school has tablets available for classroom or lab work, you will be provided with additional codes to install the apps on these devices from the Apple App store or Google Play store.
“And what do I tell the administrators about why this is a good investment of resources?”
Here’s the elevator pitch:
- Providing students with an excellent grounding in human biology and anatomy and physiology is of increasing importance: healthcare is the fastest growing sector of jobs in the United States, with more than 2 million new jobs to be added by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Meanwhile, rapid advances in technology have allowed for innovative and highly engaging learning tools to be accessible and affordable for ordinary classrooms. We have an opportunity to modernize the study of human biology in our classrooms just at the moment it is most critically needed.
- This technology is no gimmick: learning anatomy in three dimensions is crucial for developing an understanding how the human body functions. Students need to visualize where anatomical structures are in context, see how shape and size impact function, and understand how structures interact within their systems and with the anatomy of other systems.
“I have more questions about exactly what I’ll get. What’s the Courseware? What are the apps? How does it all tie together?”
Instructors can contact our education team and ask for a demo! We can get you a seat or site license quote so you have an idea of cost, or we can share sample grant proposals that instructors have submitted to get funding!
You can also check out some instructor testimonials, access additional resources, or learn more about the apps Visible Body makes and how they fit your human biology and career and technology education curricula.