A Is for Amphibians

Bright World eBooks/3D Learning Group. 2016. iOS, requires 8.0 or later. Version 1.0.36. Currently free.
K-Gr 3—Targeting the interests and needs of nature lovers and STEM learners, Bright World eBooks has produced an app inviting young readers to explore the world of frogs. What sets this apart from other apps is its use of spectacular 3-D imagery.Three choices—narrated, self-paced, and recording—are available in the "Reading" mode, which provides an overview of the characteristics and life cycle of the frog. The first two options also offer opportunities to hear words pronounced and access to a narrated dictionary. Kids will enjoy the chance to record their own narration.The same environment seen in the text mode can then be explored with swipes and taps under "Exploring." Here, two options are available, "3D Pond" and "3D World." The first provides an immersive visual experience and facts about the many animals that live in and around the pond alongside frogs, extending the breadth of the base book. Users can travel through the habitat, zooming in for close-up views. A tap to one of the creatures encountered on this animated screen (dragonflies, golden shiner, Louisiana waterthrush, etc.) elicits its name in bold print and additional narrated information.In "3D World" young herpetologists spin a globe and tap on a frog native to one of the different regions around the world. For each animal, a full-color, high-quality illustration of the creature is provided (above a ruler, for relative size) as well as a photograph of its habitat. Narrated segments offer information about the frogs and, sometimes, an audio of their vocalizations."Gaming" presents a version of concentration and a role-playing adventure that requires players to avoid some of the dangers that a young frog might encounter. Both activities include several levels of increasingly difficult challenges that test viewers' recall about what they have learned. Clearly marked icons on the opening screen make navigation easy.Adults using the app with children can access the developer's home page and its extended learning options behind a lock.—Elisabeth LeBris, LTC Director, Sears School, Kenilworth, IL

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