Friday, October 8, 2010

Digital Frog Field Trip Series ~ A Review


Digital Frog Intl Logo 

I have to admit that when we received our package from Digital Frog I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  We received the Digital Field Trip Series DVD, which contained a digital field trip to three different habitats: the wetlands, the desert, and the rainforest.  It wasn’t until I put the DVD into my laptop that I truly understood what an amazing resource we had received.

Our Experience

A few minutes after I inserted this award-winning field trip DVD into my computer, my kiddos and I were transported to the wetlands…via my computer screen. 


Below is a screenshot of one of the field trip screens for the wetlands field trip {the rainforest and desert field trip screens are very similar}.  The main field trip pages contain a live-action video screen of one section of the habitat, a field notes sheet that describes what you are seeing in the video screen, and a map of the field trip course or path.  By using your mouse, you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of the habitat.  You can also zoom in on particular areas to get a closer view. 

wetlands screen

As you maneuver your way through the habitat via the panoramic video screen, you have the ability to click on different insects, animals and plants to get more information about them including their life cycle, food source, and habitat.

Each field trip has a certain number of posts {or trail markers} that you progress through…when you finish viewing everything that you want to see, just click on the next sign post {or even click back to a previous one if you want}.

My kiddos’ favorite feature is the interactive movie feature that provides more information about featured plants and animal species, or explains different concepts relating to the habitat {such as bog succession from a beaver pond}.

wetlands movie

The Digital Frog website states that the wetlands field trip is geared towards high schoolers, but that students of all ages can benefit from the information provided in this interactive field trip.  I currently have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader and a preschooler and all three of my kiddos were able to glean information from all three of the field trips included on this DVD. 

To make it more accessible to my younger kiddos I read the trip journal aloud as my 3rd grader maneuvered his way around each habitat using the mouse.  My 1st grader and my preschooler wandered in and out of the room during this time…however, they made sure that they were always in whenever we played one of the videos :). Whenever ds8 {the controller of the mouse} came to an animal, plant, or concept that he wanted to learn more about, he clicked on the highlighted text or picture and we were taken to a screen which provided more detailed information about that topic. 

My Thoughts

For simplicity’s sake, most of the information that I shared above centered around the wetlands field trip.  However, we also spent time viewing the two other field trips included on this DVD ~ the rainforest and the desert.  While all three of these field trip experiences were fantastic, our favorite was the rainforest field trip…it featured the ambient noise of the rainforest {so it sounded like we were really there}, and it had lots and lots of videos {their favorite feature}.

rainforest desert

Each of the field trips on this DVD are crammed with information about each particular habitat.  You can view videos of individual animals and plant life, get definitions of terms used, read pages from a trip journal {rainforest field trip}, play various games that relay even more information about the habitat, and so much more. 

wetlands map

The DVD even includes workbook materials for each of the field trips that can be accessed and printed.

This is definitely a resource that can be used again and again and you will learn something new each and every time.  It can be used with kindergartners as well as high schoolers…even homeschooling mamas will benefit from this interactive DVD {ask me how I know :)}.

Please note that references to evolution may be made from time to time on this DVD.

More Information about Digital Frog

Digital Frog International is an “innovative” software company that creates “natural science software” that can be used by homeschoolers {as well as classroom teachers}.  In addition to the Field Trip Series DVDs, Digital Frog has also produced other science software, including a very cool-sounding virtual frog dissection {The Digital Frog 2.5}.  Their website provides a full listing of their products along with detailed information about each product.

There is also a Digital Frog YouTube Channel that features short science-related video clips, and a brief video about the company itself. 

Digital Frog did an phenomenal job on the production of the field trip DVD.  My kiddos and I had a fantastic time on our digital field trips…the only thing better than a Digital Frog field trip to the wetlands {or the rainforest or desert},  would have to be a REAL trip to the wetlands!

The cost of the Field Trip Series DVD {which includes field trips to all three habitats ~ wetlands, desert, and rain forest} is $125.oo for one home license {this would be the version that most homeschoolers would need to purchase}. 

This DVD program is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh platforms.  For more information regarding computer system requirements  please refer to the “system requirements” section on this page

To download a demo of any of the Digital Frog products {including the field trip series}, click here.

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Click here to check out what my fellow crewmates are saying about Digital Frog.

I received a free copy of this product in order to provide an honest and unbiased review of our experience with this product.



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