How I Use It
I used this app as a free time game. Learning about dinosaurs, while fun, doesn't actually meet my Next Generation Science Standards. Analyzing fossils (and drawing conclusions from that analysis) is a 3rd grade standard but that doesn't necessarily mean dinosaurs.. Learning about archeology and seeing the different levels as the students traveled beneath the earth was interesting and good knowledge for them. There were interesting bits of knowledge about the different dinosaurs, the first bird/bridge between dinosaurs and birds, and the conifer trees that my students enjoyed learning. I liked how the students took a photo of the dinosaurs and were able write in a journal--just like real archeologists and scientists would do. Still, I don't think that the app is worth the price as an educational tool.
I would have liked to the game to ask the students to be more analytical. Though there was some interesting information, the students weren't asked to do anything with it. I would I have liked them to be asked to draw conclusions or to answer some questions based off the information. I did like how they talked about how scientists weren't clear on all the information, which showed the students that science is on-going rather than static.
As a teacher who has students who struggle with capitalization, it irked me that they did not capitalize the names of the continents on the globe. As an educational game, they should not reinforce mistakes especially since the game is geared toward first through fifth graders. It's one thing for a game for adults (who should already know that continents are capitalized) to have everything written in lower case, but it's another for game geared toward students who are learning the rules of capitalization.
I liked how everything was spoken--this allows students who struggle with reading, have special needs, or are English language learners play the game without any issues.
The publisher has created three different dinosaur games, each targeting a different time period. This means you need to purchase all three for students to be able to make comparisons amongst the dinosaurs and plants that lived at each time. Again, this makes this app a weak teaching tool. The learning, while fun, is surface level. Younger students who love dinosuars will probably play it over and over again. Others won't enjoy it past the first time (especially without a clear purpose/end point).