Since the Human Body is part of the Grade 5 Science curriculum, I decided to download the app. I was also interested to see if the reproductive system would be included in this app, since it is not explicitly included in the Science curriculum, and I feel it is a shame to exclude one of the systems when looking at the body holistically (more on that later).
I sat down with one of my sons to check out My Incredible Body, and was immediately impressed with the multiple entry points the app offers: Users select not only which body system to explore, but also whether to navigate it themselves, or watch a pre-selected video introduction to that system, or read short paragraphs on different parts of that system. As a teacher, and as a mother of two students with special learning needs (both my children are Gifted, and one has a Learning Disability), I was impressed with the differentiated approach the app offered. I especially liked the fact that paragraphs were read aloud in a clear voice as they appeared on the screen with the different systems.
It's not that I was opposed to my son exploring this feature on his own, but it was good for me to know he was interested in doing so, as it provided me with a segway for a rich conversation about puberty with my child, who is on the cusp of it!
Although as a parent of twins, I was disappointed with the usual one-baby womb on display, I was impressed with how the app handles reproduction. The typical "mommy and daddy come together" nonsense was replaced with a child-friendly yet scientifically accurate description that both a woman's and a man's ingredients are needed to make a a baby.
As a parent, I appreciated the starting point this app offered for further conversations -- we were able to discuss a few questions he had, using the visuals in the app as a reference point. As a teacher, I like the high quality images and the fact that the information is read aloud. I also like that students can pick and choose what they want to read and review. In addition to using it in Science, I can totally see myself using this app when teaching the Health part of the Health and Phys. Ed. curriculum.
Since this app seems to offer such matter-of-fact approach, I would love to see what they could do with transgender topics. At the very least, I would have liked to have seen a slight modification on the "all girls/boys experience these changes at puberty" narration to include at least one sentence about gender non-conforming children, since puberty is such a challenging time for them especially.
One feature I was excited about was the quiz option -- as a teacher, I love the idea that students can quiz themselves to see how much they've learned!
Other than having to pay for the quizzes, my only other real complaint was that those parts of the app where skin colour could have been included seemed fairly Caucasian to me -- I've got nothing against white people, but as a teacher in a highly diverse school, I'm always on the look out to ensure the resources I use are inclusive, and it was pretty clear that both baby and both children in the reproductive system were pretty, er, "monochromatic"!
Overall, though, I'd have to give this app a two thumbs up: It's a visually accurate, highly accessible and interactive resource that is educational and entertaining for both children and adults. Well done, Zybright!