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Engaging social network for species ID that is great for field labs!

I used this to conduct a field lab experience in the area surrounding the school. I setup an iNat project for the school for all students to post their observations. Prior to heading outstide to begin collecting data via iNat, we used the iNat training powerpoint by a fellow teacher ( Then, students were grouped into teams and using either a personal mobile device or a school iPad, students downloaded the iNat mobile app and created accounts. *Note: children have to be over 13 years old to create profiles and use the site without parent approval. During the field lab, students can upload photos (which is the most useful) or write a text-based description. Then, they can check the “ID Please” option on their post, and the iNat community crowd-sourced the species identification of their posts. During our next class session, we used the website platform to export data the class collected using the export tool ( Students completed data analysis individually in the computer lab based on our findings in the field lab trip.
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Excellent way to get students outside to photograph local flora and fauna.

iNaturalist is a great way to get your students outside with their cell phones and or iPads to learn photo taking skills, and to discover plants and animals in their neighborhoods. Students communicate not only with each other but also those individuals connected with the scientific community.
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Explore, Learn, and Record with iNaturalist

There are several features of iNaturalist (iNat) that allow for a variety of teaching approaches and learning modalities. In the 'Observations' field, students can add species observations themselves, or ask the iNat community of experts for help with an identification. The species menu is a rich resource containing scientific information for a vast amount of plant and animal life. The 'Projects' menu helps individual or small groups of students build a project based on their scientific observations. Other menus include a species location search using Google Maps, guides that help students learn about nature around the world and a people menu, where students can follow their favorite iNat contributor. While the reading level is elevated, the addition of vibrant photos help students understand the non-fiction text. The site is rich in content and very well organized, therefore making its use easy to navigate.
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1 person found this helpful.

This website is valuable to students who are stuck and would like help from a professional to ID plants/wildlife.

If you use this website for instruction, it will motivate students to get outside and photograph nature. They can connect their Flikr account and get help from a community of professionals on the photographs of nature they took. I thought this worked well. You will need to dedicate some time to setting up accounts.
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