July 1, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 13)
Strong Points: Beautiful interactive animation
Weak Points: Not much content in app, relies on external link
This nicely animated app from the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah Health Sciences can probably best be described as tantalizing. It holds the promise of containing a lot of content but doesn’t quite deliver. That’s not to say that this interactive animation—which allows users to explore how different touch stimuli like ice, matches, and pins activate different nerve endings in our skin and result in various perceptions—is useless; however, it provides only the most basic overview of somatosensation. Thus, it would be best employed in the classroom alongside additional resources. The “learn more” button in the app leads app users to additional information on the Genetic Science Learning Center website. The app would be made stronger if this information was integrated into the animation or at least made accessible within the app itself (rather than through a web link), but in the meantime at least students have access to the information.