Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Digital Frog Digital Field Trips

Digifrog Field Trip Series dvd

As part of The Old School House Crew, I received a CD-ROM from Digital Frog to review with the kids. According to their website, Digital Frog is a software company that is dedicated to "creating high-quality, educational, multi-media CD-ROMS with an ecological focus". We certainly found this to be true when we explored their digital field trip series, which included field trips on the wetlands, the rainforest, and the desert. While these field trips are not intended for only one age group, I think they are best for upper elementary on through high school. My kids are still quite young and had to do the field trip with the help of a parent, but even still they thoroughly enjoyed learning about the wetlands and even asked on more than one occasion if they could learn some more about the wetlands.

Digifrog Wetlands

Each field trip is packed full of information, videos, images, and activities to engage the student and aid in their learning. I would even venture to say that one field trip by itself could be used as a unit study and comprise enough learning for a quarter or a semester, depending on how many field trips you wanted to purchase. Each field trip is $60.00 dollars for a home-use edition, or you can purchase all three field trips (wetlands, desert and rainforest) for $125.00.

Things we liked about the program:

--it was very well-rounded, packed with information, and presented the information various ways

--it included a built-in glossary, so that at any time during the field trip, the user can click a word and get a definition or more information about that word. This feature would be really helpful for an older child who was moving through the program independently, but was also useful in our situation as my husband worked through the field trip with the kids and came upon terms that he wasn't familiar with.

--our kids espescially enjoyed the video clips, special activities, and interactive graphics that supplimented the learning. For instance, when we were learning about how a bog was formed, we watched a short video showing the progression of the formation of a bog. If the kids wanted to return to a different part of the video and see it again, they could simply click and drag the bar at the bottom and re-watch that portion of the video.

Things that could be improved:

--The field trips, while quite interactive, are not very linear. You can move from screen to screen clicking topics of interest and going on little rabbit trails, which makes it difficult to know when you've covered all the imformation that is available on a topic. The navigation of the program could be improved so that it's a little more clear how the program was intended to be moved through.

If you are interested in this product, you should definitely visit their website and check out some of the free demos to determine if this program would fit into your homeschool curriculum!

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. No money was exchanged and the opinions in this review are my own.

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