Friday, October 8, 2010

Digital Frog - Luring Children Into Science

Digital Frog is a Canada based company that produces award winning CD's using virtual reality software.  The name derives from their first project, a virtual frog dissection.  We received their Digital Field Trip series to review and were, words fail me, delighted.  According to Digital Frog, "Our computer-based LEARNing tools:  •Lure the user into the subject
                                                   •Encourage inquiry, exploration and discovery
                                                   •Actively involve students in meaningful learning
                                                   •Reinforce with positive feedback
                                                   •Nourish a lifelong love of the subject." and they sure do a good job of it. 

We tried running the programs off the CD, but the pictures were very pixellated and we did not get the audio.  So we installed the CD on our hard drive and then proceeded to run the program and were quite pleased.  The program is user friendly and full of features.

Our first virtual Field Trip was to "The Wetlands".  This fit right into our Tour of the Continents, as we are currently studying North America, and the wetlands we toured was at Cloud Lake, in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada.  We were able to study the maps and geographically locate first Canada, then Ontario, the park, and Cloud Lake.  Once at the site, there were numerous "posts" to navigate and explore.  We could click on almost any word in the "field notes" for definition, and on blue highlighted words for expanded information.  Some screens have snapshots of plants, wildlife and landscape to click through, others have videos to watch.  The part with the wolf had a wolf howl audio that had us howling with delight!  We clicked on pictures to see larger versions.  In addition to each field trip, there are games and other activities.  We played the "Bog Food Game", which reinforced learning about the food chain and interdependence.  My second grader was able to come back and review his favorite parts of the field trips independently, so I venture to say that an average seven year old could enjoy each field trip with very little assisstance.  I found them so interesting that I really enjoyed sitting and doing some navigation myself. 

The Digital Frog Website also offers a FREE "Frogger Club", whose members can get free demos, discounts and extra printables, in addition to other goodies.  The Frog Blog, also freely available at the website, features additional pictures, posts, videos and more.

At $60 each or $125 for all three field trips on CD, this series is a bargain.  Each field trip can be a Unit Study in itself, with a little math supplementation.  They can be adapted for all ages kindergarten through high school, using more of the features for older children and less for younger.  Each field trip has loads of pictures, descriptions, videos, animation, interactive games and field notes.  They can be used year after year to add depth and breadth to your student's studies.

Other products available from Digital Frog are the frog dissection CD, Digital Frog 2.5 for $85, and Science Matrix: Cell Structure and Function CD for $40.  Keeping their focus on biology and ecology,  it's likely that Digital Frog will continue to make science addicting for students for years to come.

We received one CD with all 3 field trips for no charge, in exchange for publishing our opinions.  No other compensation was received.

See what other Homeschool Crewmates are saying about this product:  Digital Frog - Homeschool Crew

No comments: