Title: The Digital Field Trip Series
Vendor: Digital Frog International
Target Ages: grades K - 3
Format: DVD  
Price: $125 (for home site license) 

This review is for Digital Frog International's Digital Frog Series. The series includes tours of Wetland, Rainforest, and Desert ecosystems. 

We had a hard time getting started on this review. At first, I loaded it onto my hard drive. When we sat down to start with it, a friend called and invited the prince to go on a hike to the river. Now, what 7-year-old all-boy boy do you know who would sit and watch an educational video when he could go explore the real thing?

When we got it out again, I was having trouble getting it started on a new computer. This time, I just wanted to play the DVD through my computer. I took a chance and called customer support on a Saturday. I was actually able to talk to someone! I don't know if they usually work on Saturday, but the lady said she works from home and happened to be near the phone. She helped me through my difficulties, and we were back in business. Now, since I was on a new laptop instead of my desktop, I thought I would try to check the DVD out before inviting the prince and princess over. Well, that didn't work. When they heard the first sounds, they came right on over. (Note to self: buy earphones.)

I'm glad that I chose to play it from the DVD this time. There was a lot of supplemental information on the DVD that I didn't see when I loaded it to the hard drive. There was a teacher guide, field guide, and study guide. 

Additional information, including teacher resources, curriculum standards, photos and outside weblinks can be found on The Digital Frog website

The Queen’s Overall Assessment:
The DVD is directed towards multiple ages. Since the prince is 7 and the princess is 4, I base my assessment on those ages.

When I first started the DVD, I heard the sounds of the ecosystem and thought it would have a voice-over tour for each trip. It did not. There was a lot of text for the student to read or have read to them. This meant that I had to be seated with the prince for the tour. If the prince and I are engrossed in something, that means the princess will be in the thick of it. That makes it very hard to follow the video. (Maybe that is just us!)

The text introduced a lot of new words and concepts that I thought were beyond a K - 3 vocabulary. For words that may be unfamiliar, a reader could "click" on the word and a definition window would pop up. It just seemed that there were a lot of new "big" words strung together. Trying to keep them all straight while trying to learn about the ecosystem can get confusing. I thought that a grade level of 5-7 may be more appropriate.

My favorite part of the field trip was the trail to follow that included 360-degree view capabilities. You could zoom in or zoom out too. Certain words in the text were highlighted and clickable. So, if you wanted to see what the cactus looks like on the desert field trip, you click on the word and the 360 swirled around to show you the cactus.

At the end of the trip, you can use your new-found knowledge to build your own rainforest, desert, or wetland. That sounds so much better than a test.

While I initially thought the price tag was a little high, I see that it is a one-time fee. It is not a license that has to be renewed every year. You could use it over and over with many students. It didn't work too well for us this year, but I think it will be great in a few years.

I would caution you to review the material before viewing with the student. There is discussion of mating rituals. The prince is a farm kid and knows from which part of the cow's anatomy a calf exits. However, I was not ready to discuss some other aspects of procreation.

Of course, this is my opinion, be sure to check out the other reviews at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free DVD with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or edited by anyone prior to publishing.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Friday, October 8, 2010

3 comments to “Digital Frog Review”

  1. Monica
    October 8, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    Dropping by from the CREW. Nice review.

  1. Guiding Light
    October 8, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I appreciate your honest review...worded well! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

  1. Jesse,
    October 10, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    Nice review, mama!!

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