Tuesday, May 18, 2010


iPhone Apps can sometimes be a lot of fun, and have at least some educational value. MEanderthal is an example of an App that doesn't do much - it is an App that "transforms" you into Homo neanderthalensis or Homo heidelbergensis. It is created by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as part of their "What does it mean to be human?" educational initiative. MEanderthal is the Smithonian's first-ever mobile App.

I took the first photo above with my iPhone of myself using the MEanderthal App. It has a easy to use interface that allows you to "fit" your face using a template to rotate and re-size. The App then morphs your photo into the two photos that you see here to give you an idea of what you might look like as a pre-historic man (lady versions also available). In the end I look like I stayed out in the pre-historic sun too much with sunglasses on!

This is a cool tool to get people thinking about pre-historic man, and adds a personal touch. I'll bet that this is a popular too (if available) for kids touring the Smithsonian (which I did in November 1995). Kids may well learn more if they can imagine what they would look like themselves 1,000s of years ago.

I'm sure there are plenty of other opportunities for similar easy-to-use Apps - I'll keep an eye out. Long live innovation such as this in Education.

Free from the Apple App Store.

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