Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2018
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Lifeliqe

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Impressive, interactive 3D models augment classroom learning

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–12
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Pros: Beautiful models, ease of use, and an extensive library of lesson plans and curricula make this app extremely versatile.

Cons: Making your own ebooks is not intuitive, plus the pricing likely will keep it out of students' hands at home.

Bottom Line: While some models are lower resolution and less appealing, Lifeliqe is still a no-brainer for supplying mostly clear, professional 3D models for deep investigation.

Teachers can use Lifeliqe in several ways. Lifeliqe recently partnered with Dr. Michael Carter to offer hundreds of pre-made lesson plans within curricula for six years of middle and high school science classes. These lesson plans include interactive 3D models as well as images, activities, and links to many external resources, some of which are free and some are paid. Teachers can find applicable lessons while browsing but can also search the site by author, subject, grade, standards, textbook correlation, and type to discover models and other materials to integrate into their regular lessons.

Students can also explore any content that relates to their current assignment: reading the background information, manipulating the models, and becoming creators by using the augmented reality feature to create their own photos or videos. Teachers can include the models in their PowerPoint or Keynote slides as they teach a lesson to the whole class. They can also create and publish their own interactive ebooks, lesson plans, or presentations, or show augmented reality pictures or videos to students.

There are quite a number of videos on the Lifeliqe YouTube channel describing how to make the most of the app's features, as well as tutorials and classroom tips contained within the app itself. Lifeliqe is integrated into G Suite and Google Classroom for more assessment options, and they recently announced a partnership with Unity that will allow students and teachers to create their own VR, AR, and 3D content. Once this is enabled, the project options will be virtually endless.

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Lifeliqe, pronounced "Lifelike," is a learning and productivity platform using over 1,100 interactive 3D models, incorporating elements of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Using the professional-grade models of the Corinth Classroom, subjects include biology, paleontology, physics, geometry, culture, and more. The interface includes 620 total lesson plans that cover the 3D models, deep-zoom images, videos, and animations. Students and teachers can browse by topic or search by keyword for content, tap on a model, and see close-up views of meiosis, prehistoric mammals, flowers, artesian wells, sulfur dioxide, refraction, icosahedrons, and even Stonehenge. The model interfaces can be set to English, Spanish, or both. Each model also includes a detailed introduction with encyclopedic facts, and students can make their own notes on the model. Students can rotate each model in every direction and zoom in and out. Using the AR feature, students can take photos or videos of the models with themselves or their surroundings.

The site also offers extensive curricula by Dr. Michael Carter, Steve Jobs' former advisor for educational research, with six topics and over 450 lesson plans, all aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to major U.S. science textbooks. The interactive 3D content is integrated into the lesson plans themselves, with plenty of external materials and resources. These lesson plans use five learning stages: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate, and they're only in English. Lifeliqe is also working to add lessons and courses for students themselves.

Virtual reality can also be used with Lifeliqe, and there are both VR and mixed-reality (MR) extensions: Lifelique VR Museum and Lifeliqe HoloLens, respectively. While Lifeliqe is available in both website and app form, the iPad and Windows app versions allow for the most functionality, especially if teachers are looking to create their own content or use the AR features.

Lifeliqe is a fantastic option for those who thrive on visual, and even kinesthetic, learning. Since students can study each model from all angles and from various distances (by rotating, swiping, and zooming), they can focus on the parts of the models that interest them or that are the most relevant to their lesson. The models that include the deep-zoom feature allow students to learn about the topic as a whole and in more detail, sometimes all the way down to the cellular level. Using these 3D models can help with higher recall, improved test scores, increased attention, and better communication. Many of the models are of the highest quality and would be valuable additions to any lesson, such as the model of the potato beetle. However, Lifeliqe's extensive catalog also includes many less visually appealing models that are of lower resolution and don't distinguish detail well. Improving the quality of this lower-quality content would make this service even more valuable.

The included curricula mean students have access to these immersive 3D experiences across middle and high school education. There are so many models included that students can easily explore their personal interests while also finishing their lessons. Lifeliqe can be used as a core curriculum, or added into existing lessons for new literal perspectives. Since the app can be used in English, Spanish, or both at the same time, it's opened up to some English language learners (ELLs) as well. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

A well-organized interface leads students and teachers to in-depth lessons, interactive 3D models, and many types of visuals, including animations and AR opportunities.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Lifeliqe uses visual, and to an extent kinesthetic, learning by putting over 1,100 educational models in front of students where they can manipulate and interact with them.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Several tutorials and hundreds of lesson plans guide teachers through integrating Lifeliqe's resources into their classroom. Lifeliqe also showcases a bilingual view and the option to create your own notes with every model.


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