by Sprout Labs
About a month ago Applicable2U was introduced to those at Sprout Labs. A development group interested in exposing elementary students to those things living in your own backyard. Earlier this year, they launched Plants HD which guides budding botanists to developing their understanding of the life cycle of a plant. As of late, Sprout Labs is once again making science happen at the palm of your hands with their recent launch of Butterfly HD. This educational app is designed for those with an iPad running iOS 4.3 or later. With a quality WIFI connection, see one of the most beautiful transformations of life through text, videos and photos. Does your life science unit need some improving? Are you a school district or classroom environment leading towards mobile devices for learning? Worried that you might not be meeting standards or benchmarks while integrating technology? When implementing those educational apps from Sprout Labs, these questions and concerns are all put to ease as it meets Common Core State Standards and the needs of different learning domains.
As you “play to learn” with your mobile device, see one of the most beautiful day-flying insects, a butterfly, evolve from an egg – caterpillar – chrysalis – and finally a butterfly. Like Plants HD, upon entering this life science application, each stage of a butterflies life is a link to a wealth of information. To put your educator’s mind at ease, click the “scholar’s hat” in the upper right hand corner. This is an added feature with their recent launch, indicating how this educational app correlates to state science standards for those in Kindergarten to Grade 2. In addition, it also shares how the Common Core State Standards are met in Reading for Informational Text, Craft and Structure, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, and Range of Reading and Level Text Complexity for K-5.
Butterfly HD is a very professional looking, easy to navigate application. What Applicable2U loves about the applications from Sprout Labs is their ability to meet all learning styles. Children learn effectively when material is presented in a particular hierarchy or learning domain. This hierarchy is called Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy is much like the food chain in its design, a triangle. Each level of the triangle represents a level of thinking that as teachers we want our students to progress. The lowest three levels are: knowledge, comprehension, and application. While the highest three levels are: analysis, synthesis and evaluation. As your child reads, listens, answers and witnesses science through the application of Butterfly HD, this hierarchy of learning will be present.
Some might compare Butterfly HD like a textbook and can be presented in a variety of formats: individually, in small or large groups. This will depend on the number of devices available and the needs of your students. Each stage of the life cycle is presented in a similar manner. On one side of the page is the informational content which shares a few lines of text or paragraphs at a time. Information that is to be introduced or reinforced can be read in two ways, by the reader themselves or narrated for them. If choosing to have it read, an underlining feature will appear line by line. To the left of the text are pictorial flashcards representing that stage of the butterflies life cycle for deeper connections and reinforcement. At the bottom of the page, developers have included a “Did You Know?” scrolling feature of WOW or interesting facts. You will be amazed at what your child(ren) will recall and share after they have explored. In addition to the scrolling flashcards, a digital camera of images is also included which gives an even more up close and personal connection to the life cycle of a butterfly. Taking it one step further, educational videos are also available.
At the completion of each stage put your knowledge to the test by simply clicking the “pop quiz” button in the upper left hand corner. Questions have been organized based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning. With each correct answer, users are rewarded with a coin. As a certain amount of coins have been earned, a new level of learning is unlocked. Of course, as levels are unlocked, questions will become more challenging. While playing in the pop quiz mode, Applicable2U wondered how the results would be shared. By going through all stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy, users are given the number of correct questions out of a total. Depending on the results will determine of a follow up is necessary. A note to the developers – is it possible to design some kind of a progress report which indicates which level/question of Bloom’s Taxonomy the user struggled the most with?
Overall, Applicable2U would give Butterfly HD two thumbs up! If you have an elementary student, then this educational app is applicable to you. It’s time to clear out the shelves of the old hardcover science textbooks and replace it with the newer mobile version. If you would like to learn more about Sprout Labs, please visit their website here. For $1.99, you too can alter your life science unit or enhance your child’s love of learning with Butterfly HD by simply clicking here.