Saturday, February 2, 2013

Get wild with Animals and the environment on the iPad

There are lots of great options to study the global environment and its animals via the iPad.   There are many Australian Apps which can support a range of K-6 HSIE topics such as Global Environments -  Rainforests, State and National Parks, and Wet and Dry environments

WilderQuest  is an interactive educational game created by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Using an augmented feature, students are taken inside a subtropical rainforest or a coastal environment where they have to move the iPad around to scan for certain animals.  As they find the animals they unlock information about them.  The information includes facts about the animal, where they can be found, their home,food, videos and audio .  This App gets the kids active, so give them plenty of space.

Taronga Zoo's 'Rainforest Heroes' App is great for student collaborative work.  Students have to work together as a team to complete a field report, incorporating photos, videos and observations.  An additional benefit is that you can incorporate your own photos and/or use the App while on a real  field trip to the Zoo.

The World Wildlife Fund has put together a fantastic interactive App 'WWF together' about some of the worlds most fascinating animals.  Students can chop bamboo for the Pandas to reveal information, check out tiger vision, access lots of great information and photos in a visually stunning and inspiring App.  Highly recommended and free.

After students explore the Apps and then perhaps go on their own field trip, you could use a number of Apps to create a video or book of  their knowledge of local ecosystems or fauna.  A school in Florida did just that and created a collaborative iBook which they published to the iBook store called Creatures Plants and More.
If you don't want to publish to the iBook store use the App Creative Book Builder to create a collaborative iBook and share it with the class.

Other useful Australian Apps about animals
Field Guide to Victorian Fauna (free)
My Environment:  See the heritage places, wetlands, protected species, protected areas, weeds and invasive species near you. (free)
Please touch the Exhibit: interactive App that includes information about animals exhibited in the Melbourne Museum. (free)
Frogs Field Guide ($1.99)
DangerOz:  information on 40 dangerous Australian creatures from the Australian Museum ($2.99)
Or use Flipboard to grab photos and tweeted information from organisations like the Australian Museum to foster discussion about the topics.  See the slideshare on Flipboard for more information.

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