Friday, October 8, 2010

The Digital Field Trip Series - A Review

Product: The Digital Field Trip Series
(The Wetlands/The Rainforest/The Desert)

Price: $125 (licensed for home use only)

Company: Digital Frog International

To Purchase: Digital Field Trip

Age Range: "While not all topics/activities are suitable for younger children, the field trips support learning for grades K-12. See individual field trips for more detailed information on each." - from website

Other Products: Other Topics Available

Brief Overview:
A digital field trip to the wetlands, rainforest, and desert. Includes workbook materials for the teacher and the student.

For more information about each individual field trip:



In-Depth Look:

When I heard of the company Digital Frog, I thought of digital frog dissections. I think this is a wonderful idea. So much less gross and stinky. But what I didn't know is that they also make other educational CDs. One of these is the Digital Field Trip, the one that I received for review. Actually there are 3 field trips . . . the Rainforest, the Desert, and the Wetlands. I received the combo disc containing all 3.

I have spent some time going through all 3 field trips . . . exploring, reading, playing, and learning. It took me some time to figure out how to navigate the program, but I finally found that the easiest way is to click on "MAP" and see which items didn't have a check mark on them. Those were the items that I still needed to check on. I also found the display screen of the field trips to be way too tiny for my enjoyment. So I was relieved when I found the preferences section, where I could change to "FULL SCREEN". Ah, that was much better.

It is called a field trip and that is the first step of the journey. For example, on the Desert field trip, you pick from one of 5 deserts - the Saguaro West, Painted Desert, Death Valley, Black Rock or Big Bend. Find the place on the map. Then the panaromic view loads. You can survey the area and also zoom in and out. Click on the different posts along the trail to see all the sites. Interesting side notes are included, some of which are "clickable", like links that jump to individual animals inserted in the pictures. Below is an example from the Rainforest field trip. The left-hand corner is the scene that you view. The right-hand corner has the field notes, some of which are click-able. The bottom section shows the trail with all of the posts that you can visit.

This is just one small portion of the CD though. So many other things are included. You will need to use the map provided to be able to successfully navigate through it all. The map looks like a family tree, branching its way down from one thing to the next.

The sections are expansive and include so many topics. Some are informational. Some are interactive. Some are animated graphics with audio. A wide variety to help hold a child's interest and expand their knowledge.

Just a few of the topics on the Desert CD -
- Aridity Types
- Build-a-Desert
- Compare Homeostasis
- Animal Adaptations
- Rocks and Minerals

A few from the Rainforest CD -
- Rainforests of the World
- Biodiversity Screens
- Dependency Web
- Cryptic Coloration
- Soils & Decompisition

And a few from the Wetlands -
- Conservation
- Endangered Wetlands
- Bog Acidity
- Nutrient Cycles
- Photosynthesis

So as you can see, the CDs cover a wide variety of topics. It is a virtual field trip, but it is also so much more. I am going to include some snapshots to give you a feel for it.

This is one of the interactive screens.

This is an informative screen, with links to more details.

An interactive one from the Desert. So cute.

Once I got the hang of it, I found this to be both fun and educational. The field trips can be purchased separately. But the combo is the best deal, price-wise.

The company offers a DemoWare. This is a CD with samples of all of their products, including workbook samples. You can download it for free or have it shipped to you for $5.

To see other reviews, click here.

Disclaimer: I received Digital Field Trip free of charge, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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