April 1, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 7)
Strong Points: Nice visual design, different types of activities
Weak Points: Small collection of exercises and photos/videos
Can you tell a Synura from a Phacus? If not, then you need some protozoan practice…and the Protozoan Identification app by Carolina Biological Supply is here to help! The app is divided into four sections: dichotomous key, labeling activities, photo gallery, and video gallery. The photo and video galleries include a small collection of—you guessed it—photos and videos, respectively, of various protozoan critters such as types of flagellates and ciliates. The labeling section of the app provides three labeling exercises: a paramecium, a euglena, and an amoeba. For each organism there are diagrams with arrows pointing to specific anatomical features. In “study” mode these features are labeled; in “practice” mode the user provides the labels him/herself. Finally, the dichotomous key exercise has users identify seven organisms by watching a video of the organism and then answering a series of questions that will lead to an identity (correct or incorrect, depending on how you answer).