Mobile Apps for Biology

Free Apps for Teaching Biology 30

3D Brain

3D Brain is an app available for iPods and iPads through the Apple store. Not only does this app allow users to navigate through the different parts of the brain, and learn about each component's function, the app creatively demonstrates overall brain function and related mental illnesses.

This app could be used in the classroom for student's to independently explore the regions of the brain and learn their functions as an alternative to the teacher lecturing the entire class. Students can learn at their own pace and can access the app at home on their mobile devices for free.

HudsonAlpha iCell 3.0

iCell 3.0 is an app found via the Apple store which has 3D images of cell organelles for plants, animals and bacteria. Students can explore and learn about the functions of each organelle. It is available for iPhones and iPads.

This is a great alternative to having your students look at nothing but animated versions of the cell interior so that they may be able to better recognize these components when viewing through a microscope. This would serve as a great exploration tool in the classroom for students to compare the different cell organelles between plants and animals.

A review of the app is available below from:

Ziegler, N. (2012, December 14). icell iPad app [Video file]. Retrieved from

icell ipad app

Remind: Safe Classroom Communication

Remind is a great app available for both androids and iPhones which allows teachers to send reminders of due dates and tests directly to student's mobile devices. I know this has been a useful app for me as a student this semester in this class and it is an app I would encourage in any class I taught to give students every opportunity to succeed. For instance, the night before a student's biology ethics assignment was due, I would send out a reminder to students that it is due in class the following day.
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myHomework Student Planner

myHomework Student Planner is a free app available from the Apple store for iPhones and iPads. It allows students to enter homework and due dates, assignments, dates of tests, schedules, and more for easy, on-the-go access. The app has been updates with improvements and allows students to access the information in the app even when they are not online. When teaching any course I think it is important to provide options for organization for your students, and as many students seem to have their lives on their cell phones, offering a method of organization which is easy for them and will help them stay on top of their school work is essential.


EcoChallenge is an app available for iPhones through the Apple store. The app provides facts and information on consumer and sustainability actions across the planet such as "The world's oceans contain 6x more plastic than plankton" and then challenges the user to make small changes in their lives which contribute to the conservation of our planet. I think this could be a great source of information for a unit of conservation biology to get students thinking about their role as responsible consumers of the Earth's resources. Students could challenge one another to make sustainable choices and inform others in their life about the facts they learn through the app. As a Biology 30 class, we could also challenge another Biology 30 class in the district to make green decisions for the classroom and a sort of Conservation-Off competition with them. Information is presented in an info-graphic manner which I think high school students will easily absorb.

Biology Expert: Genetics & Cell Biology Quiz

This app, offered by Golden Academy and available from the Apple store, is specifically for testing student knowledge in areas such as DNA replication, translation, gene transfer and DNA sequencing. This has the potential to be a great review tool for students in Biology 30. The quizzes offer both a "hint" option and a "skip" option. There is an opportunity for users to review their quiz after it has been marked.

Because Biology Expert is both an app for iPads and iPhones, it could be a great portable tool for students to test their knowledge.

Snurfle Meiosis and Genetics

This Apple app (also available from the Apple store for free) is a game which revolves around an imaginary creature, the snurfle, with fewer chromosomes than humans but the same meiosis process. The game introduces Biology 30 level terminology such as zygote, cytokinesis, homozygous vs heterozygous and more.

This could be a great introductory activity into the topic of meiosis for students. Students could learn via the game the different phases of meiosis, be introduced to Punnett squares and how they work, and learn important terminology so that when the topic is addressed in class, the ideas are already familiar to them. This goes back to the idea of flipping the classroom: having students learn information outside of the classroom which is more independent (such as playing a game with information embedded in it), and confirming understanding of the information in class when the teacher is available to help (Fricker, 2014).

Fricker, S. (2014). Module 9 Interactive lecture. EDU 210. [Powerpoint slides].

Biology 30 Endocrine System

This app has a simple but effective multiple choice quiz format, testing on endocrine glands, hormones, homeostasis and touching on diseases which affect the endocrine system. It is available for free from the Apple store and works on both iPads and iPhones, making it easy for students to access.

This could be a great unit review tool for your Biology 30 unit on the endocrine system, or a refresher for the diploma exam. Students could use this app to assess themselves and then come to the teacher with specific topics within the endocrine unit on which they need further review.