"Happy is the Person Who is Able to Discern the Causes of Things" - Virgil

Assignment 01: Web 2.0/Open Source Application Review.

3-D Brain

1.    Short description of the Web 2.0 application or open source software application.

The 3-D Brain from Gene to Cognition (www.g2conline.org) website provides an interactive three dimensional model of the human brain, with detailed description of each part of the brain along with studies and researches on functions and disorders related to each respective part.

2.    Describe the target audience for this software.

This 3-D model targets a wide range of audience, from students, teachers, to researchers.

3.    What is the purpose of the software? How does it work?

The interactive brain model on the website could be rotate 360o  (vertically or horizontally) and is color-coded. Exterior portion of the brain turns transparent when one chose to view internal parts of the brain.  To the left of the page is a sidebar with information on different structures of the brain the user chose to view from the drop down menu atop of it. Labels could be turn on/off if desired.

4.    Describe the user interface. Is it easy or difficult to use? Why or why not?
Interface of this 3-D brain is very user-friendly. The brain model is interactive; a label is displayed when cursor is pointed at a part of the brain.  Everything could be done with one click,
5.    Technical requirements. Does it work on Windows, Apple and Linux? Are there minimum memory requirements, software that needs to be installed?

The 3-D Brain works on both Windows and Apple operating system, however, I haven’t tried it on a Linux, but I would assume that it would be compatible with Linux since all it needs is an internet browser to access it; there is no need to download or install the 3-D Brain, although the option is available if one decided to do so.

6.    What browsers does it work with? Does it require Java-script, Java, ActiveX, Flash, Shockwave or plug-ins?

So far, I have tried to open 3-D brain on Internet Explorer, Firefox Mozilla, Safari, Google Chrome and they all seem to work without any technical issue.

7.    What are the strengths of this software application?

•    It provides a three dimensional visual representation of the human brain, which helps students in processing the information.
•    An open source (free!) application that is easily accessible through the Internet.
•    It can also be downloaded onto computers, ipods, and iphones if Internet is not available.
•    Lesson plan for teachers and worksheet for students related to the brain is available for download.
•    Case studies and associated functions/diseases/damages to particular parts of the brain are available for students to explore.

8.    What are the weaknesses of this software application?

English language learners might have trouble understanding the terminology. Therefore, 3-D Brain could only be used as a visual aid for these students, but their ability to extracting information from reading would be dependent on their level of reading comprehension.

9.    Provide at least three examples of how you might use this in your science teaching.

•    It could be used as a visual aid to show structure of the brain, and location of each part of the brain.
•    As a source of a research project, where students find information (structure, shape, functions, diseases/damages) relating to one specific part of the brain.
•    Worksheets provided by g2conline.com could be used as homework or an assessment tool.

10.    Include any tips for science teachers.

•    Use it as visual aid during lecture: projector, Smart-board, or PowerPoint.
•    Students could work in groups or individual on a project (diseases/disorder related to a part of the brain) using the information provided by the 3-D brain.

11.    Any other comments.

Do not over use the model in you lecture, for it may start to get dull if the teacher keeps on lecturing, let the students explore it instead and keep the lecture to minimum.

    Copyright (C) 2010, Mr. Ly Science Education. all right reserved

Tutorials | Codes | Templates