Meet the Insects: Forest Edition is a multimedia encyclopedia of forest insects. What I am most impressed are the images and videos. They are so real that you feel the insects can jump out of the screen. Another thing I really enjoyed is how different elements come together – content, transition between sections, background, music, image – all are integrated seamlessly into one beautiful package.
The app has 5 sections: Insect Story, See Insects, Multimedia, Observational Journal and Quiz. I suggest starting from Insect Story. Here kids learn some fundamental facts about insects. There are 6 short videos addressing six topics: What are insects, Life Cycles of Insects, Dazzling Colors, Diverse Patterns, Why Do Cicadas Cry, What Happens at Night.
After Insect Story, kids can go to See Insects section. Here each insect is introduced by the orders they are under. For Order Hemiptera, there are Stink bug, Large brown cicada, Cicada, Brown-winged green stink bug, and Assassin bug. There are 6 orders in the app, each order includes various number of insects. For each bug, there are multimedia files and a one-paragraph introduction. There are sticky notes with questions on them. When tapping the sticky note, the answer to the question will appear on the screen.
The Multimedia section holds all the images and videos used in the app. If kids think they have learned enough about insects, send them to the Quiz section. There are two types of quiz: OX quiz has true or false questions; Photo quiz has multiple choice questions, and all the choices are insect pictures.
One very neat section is Observation Journal. Here kids can put in insects they have encountered. Kids can upload pictures and record other relevant information, such as location, weather.
Some other app features I liked:
- Search insects by shape (number of legs, shape of wings, etc) and color.
- Choices between day light view and night light view.
- Background insects noise make you feel you are out there with the insects
- Professional narration at a pace easy for kids to follow
- All the information is provided by National Science Museum of Korea (The developer is from Korea).
Meet the Insects: Forest Edition is a well-designed app teaching kids everything about forest insects. With the help of multimedia materials, the app does a great job in bringing the insects to life. Even kids who don’t like bugs will enjoy this app.
It is available for iPAD only. It is $3.99 on App Store.
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