Tools for Teaching Anatomy

When I was going through school, I absolutely loved learning about the Human Body & specialised in remembering each of the various names of bones & muscles. My parents knew this and they bought me an interactive picture book which included interesting facts about the human body & a skeleton model which you put together and hung from your ceiling.

This love continued into my senior schooling & eventually helped me enjoy much of my undergraduate degree where we explored high level anatomy concepts on cadavers. While this was an outstanding hands on way to learn, as soon as we got outside of the anatomy labs we were stuck with the task of continuing our learning with boring textbooks. The problem was these textbooks hadn’t changed in forever and they sucked the life out of learning.

Fortunately today we have an array of options when it comes to teaching about the Human Body that bring its magic to life. See them in action below;

iMuscle 2

An absolute classic iOS/Android application that allows you to explore the muscles of the human body in isolation. Users have the ability to zoom into an area on our 3D human body and tap on a muscle to reveal exercises and stretches targeted to the development and/or rehabilitation of that specific muscle. Once identified, just add it to a workout. The app also takes it to the next level by including animations showing how to properly perform each exercise. Over the course of many years I’ve used the app for

  1. Connecting to the large screen and sharing an interactive tour/explanation of the human body
  2. Had students use the app and inbuilt exercises to produce their own workouts
  3. Screen recorded me using the app with Reflector2 & shared the videos to my senior students as a flipped learning activity

Essential Skeleton

Made by the same team behind iMuscle (& many others) this app features a 3D skeleton which you can explore in stunning detail. Another must have.

Anatomy 4D

One of the favourite parts of The PE Geek Workshops include taking teachers through the app ‘Anatomy 4D’. This augmented reality app available for iOS & Android makes it possible to bring to life the human body using nothing more than a piece of paper. See it in action below;


Curiscope Virtuali-tee

Another exceptional Augmented Reality app  that takes the Anatomy 4D concept to an entirely new level allowing you to dive in and explore the human body. Simply pair the app on either your iOS or Android device with a Virtuali-tee with the special t-shirt and be transferred into a truly stunning immersive experience.   See it in action in the video from Adam Llevo below;

As you can see from the video you can easily use the augmented reality experience to;
– Isolate the individual physiological systems that perform the functions that keep YOU alive!
– Dive into the bloodstream or small intestine with 360 experiences.
– Combine with a Google Cardboard or Mattel Viewmaster and experience in Virtual Reality!
– Go solo! The app works in the mirror and selfie mode
– Fantastic for groups! Multiple phones and tablets all tracking one t-shirt

Anatomyou VR

Available for FREE on both iOS & Android devices – this virtual reality experience places you directly inside the human body. You’ll learn and identify the human anatomy from the inside and in 3D as if you were navigating inside a minimally invasive procedure.

Simply place the mobile application running on your device into a virtual reality headset like, Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear and you’re away.

Microsoft Hololens

While we may not be able to get our hands on a Hololens just yet, this incedible hologram based device is going to shake up learning in major ways. Take a look at the future of anatomy teaching below


So what do you think? Which of the tools above do you want to use to teach anatomy to your students?  Leave a comment below & I’ll pick a winner on March 12th, 2017 to receive a FREE Virtuali-tee.

8 thoughts on “Tools for Teaching Anatomy”

  1. Jessica Patterson

    Rob! I have ordered a half class set of iPads with all of the apps (iPad compatible) above! I also was lucky enough to be invited to Canberra Grammar and had a go at their hololenses! They had ordered an anatomy app but it wasn’t downloaded yet..when it’s up and going they said we can have a go with my ex sci class!

  2. That HoloLens looks amazing! It will open up so many exciting opportunities for educators in the near future.

  3. Anatomy 4D has been awesome with Yr9s for muscular/skeletal system. We have used it to have races to get a view/shot of specific features. Some students have said that they would rather labels show on the landmarks, but we’ve turned that into an opportunity to cross check their understanding with other resources at the same time in small groups. Keen to give imuscle2 and essential skeleton a run in that regard too. HoloLens looks amazing! Let’s get some of them around the place!

  4. These look great!! Thanks Jarrod! You’re a superstar! Will be great for my year 11’s.
    Another one I use, to help with remembering bone and muscle names is
    Fairly sure there is an app to it as well.

  5. I love all of the tools listed. I hope Anatomy 4D bring out some more sheets to explore different systems and areas of the body. Can’t wait to get my hands on some VR googles and try out Anatomyou VR. Thanks!

  6. Innovation and student collaboration at its best! Amazing! Exciting times for teaching and learning – thanks for sharing Jarrod!

  7. Susan Oehlertz

    This is amazing! This would really shake up our Anatomy classes! I’m excited to share this with my Science teachers.

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