How I Use It
This App is multi-faceted in how it could be used in the classroom. It was used as a research tool with a class of 11-12 year old students who have varying levels of English language ability. Their task was firstly a reading comprehension one; the children had to use the app to find answers to questions that I had written. The benefits of using this App rather than a general search on the internet are many; the App is 'sandboxed', giving the teacher control of the information the children are accessing, ensuring that it is accessible and relevant; the work can be differentiated as some children can use the 'Fact Sheet' style information, others can choose to 'Read More' to access information written in paragraphs and with the videos there is also the opportunity for listening comprehension, although not every video is narrated. Finally, because the information is displayed in a uniform way for each animal the children learn to quickly get to grips with the format and can find information easily.Following on from this the children wrote their own questions for others to find the answers.
I think this is worth the money, but there is also a fully featured 'Lite' version that just features fewer animals which would be fine for the activity I have outlined above. In addition to the benefits stated above, there is a 'Guess Who' game, which for older children was perhaps a little easy as the multiple choice options made the correct answer fairly obvious, but would be great for younger ones. I could also see it as a stimulus/model for children to design their own similar activity using 'Kahoot'. One drawback I found was that some of the information can be conflicting, for example the Gorilla is listed as being 4 feet long, but 6 feet tall, I'm not sure where the 4 feet long figure comes from? Then for the Panda, an animal with similar proportions and body shape to the gorilla, only length is listed and there is no mention of height. However, overall, this is a minor drawback and I would heartily recommend this App.