Ecosystems HD

This Ecosystems HD app also includes:

Discover the climate and the adaptations of plant and animal in six different Earth biomes: grasslands, deserts, forests, tundra, oceans, and wetlands. With a simple, straightforward approach, emerging ecologists will be captivated by vivid photography and informative videos.

2nd - 4th Science 76 Views 18 Downloads
CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags

App Overview

The Play feature is an interactive where a photograph is displayed, and players must select which biome it represents.

An information bar at the bottom of the home screen describes the importance of protecting ecosystems and biomes and explains the relationship between them.

Six biomes to explore:

  • Grasslands
  • Deserts
  • Forests
  • Tundra
  • Oceans
  • Wetlands

For each biome:

  • Informational text
  • Polaroid-style photos with captions
  • Did You Know?: A bar containing fascinating facts about the biome
  • Pop Quiz: A three-leveled, multiple-choice assessment
  • Read to Me: The option to have the text read by a narrator
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Rating Details

  • Adherence to task

    Inaccurate use of terminology; no maps

  • Worth the money

    Beautiful images

  • Fun factor
  • Scaffolding of learning

    No tutorial features

  • User safety
  • Control and feedback
  • How techie do I need to be?
    Intermediate
Instructional Ideas

When you are teaching your science class about biomes, project the app on the board and take advantage of the gorgeous gallery of photos and the curated videos for each. This will save so much time in hunting for visual aids to support your lesson. You could have learners answer the questions together as a group review.

Classroom Considerations

In the Play feature, many of the photographs do not have obvious biome relationships. For example, a beavers' dam is depicted. Forest was chosen, but wetlands is the correct answer according to the app. The answer for the picture of a flock of geese in the sky and for the photo of a herd of reindeer is forests, though tundra also seems appropriate. Using the Play feature is not recommended for younger learners, as it can be confusing. With more mature learners, you could possibly use this problem as a springboard for discussion about how some animals thrive in more than one biome.

Pros

  • Easy to navigate
  • Attractive images
  • High-definition photographs
Cons

  • The name of the app, and the occasional use of the word ecosystem are not accurate; the word should be biome. Note that the terms are correctly explained in the information bar at the bottom of the home screen.
  • No maps showing where the different biomes can be found
  • Photographs on individual topic pages are somewhat small
  • There is no way to record or share quiz scores
  • Interactive features are sparse