Friday, March 18, 2016

Rainforest Journey from EdTechLens Review

Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review
We've been using Rainforest Journey, a fun online science program from EdTechLens as part of my 3rd grader's school day.

EdTechLens offers digital learning for kids in grades kindergarten through grade 5.  In Rainforest Journey, the program offers a life science curriculum for kids with various difficulties, based on the grade level. The program is rich in media and is interactive for students as they learn about the world around them.


Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review
Sebastian, my third grade student, has been enjoying moving through the lessons at his own pace. I hand him the iPad and he can get on and read through how much he wants each day. There are wonderful pictures, sound clips, videos, questions, guides, and enrichment opportunities presented in each lesson.

There are five units in the program and each unit is broken down into multiple lessons. In total, there are 34 lessons in the program. If you covered one lesson each week, this program could be your entire science curriculum for the year!

In each lesson there are end of lesson reviews as well as activities that could be done in your home. In the teacher's area, resources and book lists are given to help you delve in, dig in, and have fun with learning science.
One of the lessons in the third grade Rainforest Journey.  Great pictures, expanded with information, sound clips, and enrichment added.
At first I had my kindergarten student doing her own run through of the program, but she ended up preferring to sit next to her brothers and all three of them would use the iPad together! Sebastian would read it to his siblings and they had fun learning about science together. It made my heart melt to watch them learning together and sharing this time.

Teacher's area gives you the ability to monitor progress and see their scores on assessments.
 The class area is handy as it gives you a chance to see where your students are and what they are doing.  I could see this as an extremely important feature for classrooms teachers, but I enjoy it as a homeschool mom.  It is easy to print out the tests if you wanted a record for a portfolio.

Quiz results were available!
 I enjoyed the assessments that are at the end of the units.  There are a few different types: short answer assessments and multiple choice assessments.  Sebastian was able to tackle to multiple answer assessments on his own, but because his typing skills aren't great, I was his scribe for the short answer section of the assessments.  The results are then put into the teacher's class area to look over and to grade the short answer section.

You even get to see what answers they picked so that you could help them understand anything they missed.
Pros:

  • The work can be very independent
  • There was no problem getting Sebastian to spend time on it each day
  • Easy to follow course
  • Hardly any work for the teacher
  • All the kids were engaged and worked on the course together at the same time

Cons:

  • I would like some more lab suggestions or things to do off the computer with the kids. Although there were suggestions, science is one of our favorite subjects and we like to go ALL in when we are able.
  • The kindergarten class ended up not being independent at all. She wanted me to sit with her and read the lessons for her. It worked out better for me to have her work with her brother in his third grade lessons so that I wouldn't be the one working with her. This was less a problem with the program and more a problem with how my daughter wanted to implement it.
Roaring like tigers in the rainforest!
A one year license to use Rainforest Journey for one student is $50. Up to five students *in the same grade level* is $75. This could get expensive, however, it is an entire year curriculum that is extremely hands off for the teacher so it has benefits. 


Rainforest Journey EdTechLens Review


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