Body talk

7th January 2005 at 00:00
Human Body Systems. Three CD-Romswww.cambridge-hitachi.com

See website for licencing and price, approval discs available.

Interactive Genetics Professional edition www.birchfieldinteractive.com

See site for pricing

Described as suitable for a wide range of advanced courses (top tier of GCSE and A-level), the three CD-Roms in Human Body Systems have such a stunning collection of picture information, construction sets, data and facts, photo albums and interactive animation that they will be a resource for many different lessons in every key stage.

Rom one deals with skeletal, digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems; Rom two with the co-ordination systems (nervous and hormonal), and Rom three with reproduction, inheritance, infectious diseases and immunity.

Missing is the digestive system.

A few examples give a taste of what a good resource they are. The "build a skeleton" from the first and the 3-D diagram of the eye from the second could be used in any key stage, while the unit on eye defects and accommodation could be used in physics or biology at key stage 4. The graphics used, showing how the image is formed on the human retina of a beetle viewed at different distances from the eye, will help to explain processes that are hard to teach on the chalkboard. The 3-D imagery of the skeleton and the sounds of the beating heart and air moving in the trachea and lungs will bring a new perspective to topics on the skeleton and blood transport. The video footage of human fertilisation and the photomicrographs of DNA in the third CD do the same for reproduction.

Birchfield's biology software series is aimed at key stage 4 and covers topics such as cells, disease, genetic engineering and variation. The treatment of the topics in Interactive Genetics, the seventh in the series, is simple and will be a useful revision aid for students in lower tier GCSE or key stage 3 tests. The animations and simple text will help students at the lower end of the ability scale.

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