Friday, October 8, 2010

A Field Trip Without Leaving Your Living Room - TOS Review!

Wouldn't that be awesome?  To take a field trip but never have to pack, clean up (so the house is clean when you return), no bug spray, just click some buttons and you are there?  Well, this is no longer just a dream.  You can take virtual field trips all over the place.

Digital Frog Intl LogoI received a new product to review a few weeks ago from a company called Digital Frog.  So in the last week or so the girls and I have visited a bog in Canada and began exploration in the rainforest of Belize.  Let me tell you a little more about this product.

The Product:
Our family received a DVD containing the Digital Field Trip Series which contains three field trips.  The three field trips are:
  • The Desert (featuring 5 deserts in North America)
  • The Wetlands (featuring Cloud Lake Bog in Ontario, Canada)
  • The Rainforest (featuring Belize, Central America)

In order for the DVD to work on your computer you MUST have the following.
Windows Macintosh
  • Windows 2000, XP, Windows 7 or Vista (32 bit) (some features may not work in the 64 bit version of Vista)
  • 32 MB of RAM (64 or more recommended)
  • 75 MB of hard drive space for QuickTime
  • Mac OSX 10.3.9 or later
  • 30 MB of available RA
This was a bit of my initial difficulty with this product, but I will get back to that in a minute.

Each trip has modules that help you explore the specific field trip you have chosen 'to go on.'  They also have created workbooks for the teacher and the student that help deepen the experience, by really delving into the particular ecosystem.  These field trips can be used by all ages (K-12, and mom and dad), but I would think that middle and high schoolers would get the most out of them.

The DVD is a totally interactive allowing learning to be done at many different levels throughout the area you are exploring. There is also a very detailed site map that shows all the different areas and possibility of exploration.  You can go here to see a breakdown of the topics covered within each of the individual field trips.

The Desert, Wetlands, and Rainforest Field Trips can be purchased separately for $60 home use license or they have the 3-in-1 Field Trip for $199 home use license. 

Our Experience:
I told you earlier I had some difficulty with this product at first.  Well earlier in the year my computer was on it's last leg and so my wonderful husband tried to do what only a husband would do - fix the problem.  He had been researching options for a LONG while and one weekend 'created a new computer' with a Linux based OS.  That being said, Linux usually is compatible with DVD's, CD's, and software that has to be downloaded.  Unfortunately this was not the case with this program ... at least not initially.

I really did want to explore all the  product had to offer so my husband graciously spent many hours late into the night trying to download thingys that might help with the compatibility.  Alas, we were able to start the DVD, but not at its fullest.

So I asked around to friends and family members wanting to procure a Windows based system so I could finally try out the DVD.  And someone came through!

We have not been able to fully explore everything that is available (there is just too much), but I can see that this product can be useful throughout one's schooling career.  I am already planning for when my children are older and we can truly benefit from all the information included.

Our Thoughts:
Audrie didn't like them much.  She said there was too much reading.  It took a lot to keep her occupied and listening.  However, she did enjoy the pictures of all the animals, counting the items they ate (which were shown in shadow form on the bottom of each animal page), and watching the mini-videos that were available on some of the 'pages.'

Arianna was surprisingly able to read a majority of the information.  However, most of the words needed defining by mom (or dad) so that she could understand what she had read.  She also like the ability to 'look around' at each post (below is a picture of one of the posts in the Wetland field trip.  The blue words are specific 'pages' that can be accessed and allow for further learning.  There's also a picture of the entire 'map' of the trip and the red arrow is where you are along the trail.
Digifrog Wetlands

Watching the animals had to be their favorite part. They love learning about animals.  Here are some pictures while they were enjoying their  field trip.

But, don't take my advise only.  Go to Digital Frog's website yourself and go visit the Homeschool Crew and check out what other members of the Crew are saying.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review.  Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of  my reviews.  My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***


Martha said...

This sure sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Jesse, said...

Nice job, mama!!

April said...

Hi Kelly,

Great review. It sounds like a lot of fun. However, all the reading might turn off my boys as well. Fieldtrip and TONS of reading would not coincide in their minds. I was just thinking I wish I was on this product. :-) Nice to meet you!


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