Friday, October 8, 2010

Digital Frog ~ Virtual Fieldtrips DVD

Digital Frog Intl Logo

Digifrog Field Trip Series dvdI had "heard" of Digital Frog, (my take being that it is a virtual dissection  software for those that don't have the resources to do dissection labs, OR are too squeamish to follow through....), so I was interested in hearing what they had to offer as a vendor for the TOS Crew this year (RJP would be one of those "Squeamish" types... she gets it from her mom/teacher.. sigh....).  I was pleased to find out I was on the list to receive software from them, but it wasn't the "Digital Frog". Members of the TOS Crew were given the Digital Field Trip Series DVD(Mac and Windows compatible), with 3 "Field Trips" to actual  Desert, Wetlands, and Rainforest Biomes. 
Hey kids, pull up a chair~ we're going on a few trips, and we don't even have to put gas in the car, or buy a plane ticket! :)
Digifrog Rainforest

Each Field Trip includes "virtual" 360° panoramic views of a real location, with the ability to zoom in and scan around. There are  "Field notes" included(See right side of the image below), with clickable blue links that expand on what is written in the notes or seen on the screen. When we clicked on "Coyotes" in the notes,  the scene on the screen rotated to bring a coyote into view. Click on the coyote in the photo, and a "reference" page opened up. These pages often include a video, more photos, and information about the particular subject.  While my oldest enjoyed most of the material, she opted not to watch the video of a wolf catching it's prey, my middlest wasn't bothered in the least. My littlest was happy to sit on a lap and watch the 360° "locations". ~ Something for everyone!  Almost every word included in the text on the screen is "Defined" and even pronounced if you like.That's just amazing to me... what a lot of work went into these!
The field trips were produced with a high school audience in mind, but if you have a multi-age homeschool, you may find that there is something of interest for everyone. While my oldest enjoyed most of the material, she opted not to watch the video of a wolf catching it's prey, my middlest wasn't bothered in the least. My littlest was happy to sit on a lap and watch the 360° "locations". Note~  Almost every word included in the text on the screen is "Defined" and even pronounced if you like.That's just amazing to me... what a lot of work went into these!

Digifrog Wetlands
There is incredible amount of data included for each biome, and we have only scratched the surface. If you'd like to get an idea, here is a list of the topics covered. Just to whet your appetite a little,  a few of the topics covered in one or more of the field trips on this "Series" DVD include:
Diversity of Life
  • Plant and Animal Structure and Function
  • Animal Comparisons and Adaptations
  • Plant Comparisons and Adaptations
Interdependence of Life
  • Animal dependencies (food, shelter, nesting, pollination, dispersal)
  • Biodiversity
  • Habitat changes: harmful or beneficial
  • Interactions/relationships (eg. producer/consumer, predator/prey)
Flow of Matter and Energy
  • Food: building materials, energy/fuel
  • Food: photosynthesis
  • Food: breakdown for energy & materials
  • Energy: food energy from plants
  • Human impact reduces fertility of land
Given that the company didn't produce from a creation worldview, there are themes that relate to evolution. I haven't run in to any of them directly in our use of the software, but I when I do, I will use the opportunity to discuss our viewpoint, and why we hold it.

In addition to the panoramic photography, reference materials and videos included in each field trip, there are a variety of activities and worksheets (With "teacher notes/answers") for each field trip.

The nitty gritty on this resource: Home Licenses come in a variety of options:
$60/individual Field Trip
$125 for the 3 DVD Series that we reviewed (on one computer)
$135 for for 3 DVD Series (on up to 3 computers)

There are other pricing options for co-op use, and "bundle" prices that might be worth looking at if you're planning to purchase any of their other software. Click here for those details.
If you would like to research these field trips a little more, you are invited to download limited "Demos" of the Digital Frog Software. You can also read the opinions of my fellow TOS Crewmates by visiting the TOS Crew Blog.

As always, I hope that this review provided some useful information for you regarding the Digital Frog Field Trips, and will help you plan where best to spend your homeschool budget.

Blessings~
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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