App review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2021
WWF Forests
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WWF Forests

Visit a virtual forest and learn fun facts as you explore

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Grades
4–9
Subjects & Skills
Science

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Pros: Visually stunning with engaging content and bite-sized information.

Cons: A little choppy at times, as sometimes the AR takes a while to work.

Bottom Line: When a real forest isn't easy to find, this app offers an immersive, fact-filled experience.

The WWF Forest app allows teachers to bring the forest to their students and learn a bit about it on the way. Teachers can use the app on individual devices or have students gather around a larger screen tablet to view the AR-generated forest along with the bits of information hidden throughout. While the bits of information themselves are just short sentences on various aspects of the forest, they can generate discussion and introduce larger concepts. The app also ends with links to the WWF website, where students can explore these issues in greater detail. The bits of information presented in the app can also be used to set students up for a larger project on the various aspects of the forest -- its life cycle, human influences on the forest, hazards, and preventing damage to the forest and its ecosystems. When students are ready to use the AR feature, make sure there's enough space available to get the most out of it!

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WWF Forests is visually stunning and takes over your space, turning it into a beautiful forest, all through the power of augmented reality (AR). Hidden in the forest are little pop-ups of information that introduce students to different aspects of the forest. It also walks students through various stages of the forest's life, including how human activities can jeopardize the delicate ecosystem. It focuses on temperate forests, so not all forest types are covered. At the end of the experience, kids can "plant" their own forests and observe them in AR.

 

The WWF Forests app allows students to explore bits of information on the forest, and while the app itself only takes about 20 minutes to go through, it's a good start for generating conversations and getting students thinking about the issues. The app itself doesn't contain much in the way of information on its own, but it's a good starting point for bigger projects.

While the AR technology in the app is quite good, it does have some glitches and can sometimes take a long time to register a surface to project onto. It can also be a bit awkward to move around the space and find the pieces of information hidden around the projection. But overall it is well designed, well thought out, and engaging for students. 

Overall Rating

Engagement

Visually stunning, this immersive augmented reality app brings the forest to you and allows students to explore. 

Pedagogy

The learning is done mostly through clicking on preset bubbles that provide students with bits of information. There isn't a lot of freedom to explore beyond. 

Support

The layout is straightforward and easy to follow, and information is provided with both audio and visual content. 


Common Sense reviewer
Pamela Brittain Researcher

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