Google Body Browser a Technology for Education?


I had recently been reading about the Google Labs Body Browser. I had to try it myself to see if it was something that could be used as an instructional tool in our schools. In the Google labs section this is the small write up about it:

Body Browser is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more. You can also share the exact scene you are viewing by copying and pasting the corresponding URL. You will need a web browser that supports WebGL, such as the new (free and publicly available) Google Chrome Beta.

Initial
Reaction

One thing that I found out from the start is that it won’t work unless you have WebGL and the most recent beta of Firefox or Google Chrome beta. That is a major downfall right now because in a school system they do not use a
beta of a browser, while you need stability for the students and teachers. Some other observations while using the newest Firefox beta and Google Chrome beta:

1. Very slow to draw screen

2. Part names are clustered to close together. You must zoom in to the max to get some of labels.

3. Needs to work with non-beta browsers if you want a true test and bug shake out. Mostly, the technically proficient are the ones to use beta browsers.

4. No info on the page about it’s use, or specifications. The info that is there is almost the same color as the background making it barely noticeable.

Conclusions

This can be a great project that could be used in schools, but it won’t until it is made easier and more acceptable to the general public. Until it is fleshed out better and a beta can be placed in the wild with the general public it should be considered an Alpha test. Once it is better developed it should become an advertised public beta, which will become a better final product when the public gives it feedback. They are the end user in the long run and their opinion is the first that should be sought.

Want to try it anyway? Click this link: http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/body.html#

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