Technology has advanced to the point today where frog dissection can be done virtually. Digital photography in textbooks and science websites is very precise. This method can teach a student a lot about biology and anatomy. Some experts, however, protest that virtual dissection is not a valid alternative. Without an actual animal, a student can see the makeup of frog but cannot fully experience it.
Though photographs are helpful, a student will not experience the tactile feeling of the frog. In actual dissection a student must use his or her hands to cut the frog open and pull out the organs. Virtual dissection does not offer this opportunity.
Future doctors, biologists, and other scientists may need at some point to perform surgery or dissections. Practice with actual dissection provides good training for such tasks and a good way for a young person to understand the process. It also gives a student the chance to discover whether he or she possesses aptitude for this kind of work.
Virtual dissection does not create the same lasting impression or vivid memory as actual dissection. Textbook and Internet images are something students see everyday, but an actual once-living thing stays with a person. It has an impact.
If a student has moral objections to frog dissection, that can be a good thing and lead to possibilities for self-discovery. No student should be forced to partake in actual dissection if he or she objects to it, but the act of making that decision is also an important part of education.
In virtual dissection there are no surprises. Dissection is a good way to learn about the structure of all living creatures, and it's interesting to see how the frog of another student may be different than yours. In virtual dissection all the frogs are the same.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of SACHIN SANDHU