Assignment 1 - Software Review

Name: 3D Brain
Url: http://www.g2conline.org/

1. 3D brain is an app which allows students to see a 3D image of the brain. The brain can be rotated, flipped, and viewed from all angles, and there is text and links which accompany specific sections of the brain.

2. This app can be used for students of all ages, to show a 3D representation of the brain. However, it probably benefits high school and college students the most, and in any class where the brain is being discussed.  

3. The purpose is to give students an accurate and realistic idea of where specific areas of the brain are located, and how these areas connect to one another. There is a drop down list where you can choose a part of the brain, which then appears on a large picture of the brain. You can rotate the brain completely, and view from all different angles. As you rotate, one half of the brain disappears so you can see the inner brain structures more clearly. There is a brief overview of the function of the brain, case studies, descriptions of what damage or cognitive disorders are associated with this area, and links to research papers.

4. It is easy to use, as you simply pick an area of the brain and it shows up color coated and with labels. It is pretty easy to rotate on the computer, but the app for an iphone or android might be easier to use as those devices are touch screen.

5/6. This program works on Windows, Apple, and Linux. It is also available as an app for ipad, iphone, ipod touch, and android. This program works on all browsers, and does not require a plugin.

7. This app gives students a great image of where brain structures are located. 2D photographs of images or even diagrams cannot compare to a 3-dimensional brain. Being able to rotate the brain and see structures from different angles helps students realize how smaller pieces fit together to give the big picture. Moreover, it is free, and since there are apps available for phones, students can use this resource at home.

8. One weakness of this software is that it could be more detailed. They could add more parts of the brain, and perhaps explain the case studies a bit more. Also, the transparent brain could be more transparent, or even have an option where it could disappear. While you can zoom on the app for iphone or android, you cannot from the web.

9. This app provides a good overview of the structures of the brain and what their functions are. It can be used in the classroom to quiz students, by showing them a section of the brain and asking what its function is, or vice versa. Students have the opportunity to interact as they can rotate the brain and explore different areas. The case study section is particularly interesting, and might be a good way to get students’ attention, and show them the relevance and importance of that area of the brain. Lastly, students can use this app on their phones or home computers, which makes it a valuable resource for them outside the classroom. If students are interested in a particular part of the brain, they can explore the links and find more information.

10. This application would be great for individual or groups of students to use. Teachers can take their students to the computer lab to check out the website, or use a laptop cart so students can interact with the program on their own.