What is Digital Frog? "We're passionate creators of natural science software. We’re teachers of dissection and anatomy and ecosystems. We’re savers of frogs and inspirers of learners. We’re believers that you can’t care about a world you don’t understand. We’re Digital Frog International." (Digital Frog Website)
At Digital Frog, you will find several innovative and inspiring educational products, including the digital frog dissection software that gives them their name. But we got to review something different. Virtual Field Trips. While I was not-so-patiently waiting to receive the disk, I developed an image in my head of what this product would be like. I imaginved it would be something like a documentary, where you listen as someone explains what you are seeing, and maybe you even watch as the explore the various ecosystems.
Not exactly! Actually, there is a lot more. A LOT. I still can hardly believe the amount of info that is on this CD. Digital Frog was kind enough to give us all three of their field trips to review; The Digital Field Trip to the Wetlands, The Digital Field Trip to the Desert, and The Digital Field Trip to the Rainforest. This bundle costs $125.00 for a home licence on CD, or buy an individual title for $60.
Each program has several ways to explore, not just the field trip. The field trip feature is a series of stops through a real location, which are shown with a 360deg photo. You can drag the mouse around the area to look around, and there are special plants and animals to discover. If you have trouble finding them, you can just click the link that is in the accompanying text.
A screenshot from the field trip feature on
When you do go visit a animal or plant's featured page, you will find a lot of info- including links to other animals and plants that are connected in the food web. There is an accompanying text, with information on the animals habitat, behavior, eating habits, and more. Most of the animals and plants have several different pictures to click through to get a better idea of how it looks.
A screenshot of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog page on
The Rainforest and Wetland field trips each include an interactive food web game, where you try to find all the connections between the species. The game in the Desert version is a little different; you try to build a desert ecosystem.
A screenshot of the dessert habitat game on
There is more to learn after you are done with your Field Trip, as well. You can go to the map to se all of the different features on the disk, learn more about the habitat through animations and text, or go through the animal and plant features one by one.
So how did this program work for our family? I really enjoyed it. I was at the helm, clicking and exploring, while the kids watched. I read the information to them, and they seemed to like it. I think a lot of it was over their heads, but they had a wonderful time learning about the animals.
After awhile, I let Bop and CJ try it on their own. Even though they could not read the text, they still learned a lot. They liked looking around the 360deg. views in the Field Trip area, but I think their favorite was the animal screens. A lot of the animals and plants have accompanying video clips, which made it pretty enticing for them.
I would say that overall, while these programs are exceptional in their scope and presention, I would
not recommend them JUST for PreK-3rd grade. If you are there to read the text and explain the parts that are above their heads, it would be alright. It is very obvious that this is geared for older elementary children and up. I think we can pretty safely say that there is no other program anywhere that can rivel this one in it's thouroughness and depth of the subjects. If you have older kids this would be a wonderful program for them, that they can explore and play with on their own. It even includes printable workbooks that would really help you see what they are picking up as they 'play'.
You can read more review for the Digital Field Trips on the Old Schoolhouse Crew blog, and you can read more about them at Digital Frog, where you can see a lot of screenshots and fun details before you buy.
I received this product free of chargeas a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,for review purposes. I promise to be honestand fair in my reviews, and I received noother compensation in exchange for my review.to read more reviews on this product.