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Journey North

Long-standing citizen science site continues to inspire learners

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 2 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

1–8

Subjects & Skills

Character & SEL, Critical Thinking, Science

Price: Free
Platforms: Web

Pros: Journey North moves beyond other citizen science websites because it helps kids do more than just upload pictures -- they actually get to ask questions and form conclusions.

Cons: Without a teacher dashboard, teachers can't track progress of their class online.

Bottom Line: Extensive resources can help kids collect, share, and analyze evidence about seasonal change.

Journey North can be used as a part of a large-scale class project or assigned to individual students who are interested in citizen science. Under the Student Showcase, templates and graphic organizers help kids learn to develop research questions using evidence from the site. In addition, printable worksheets can help kids learn to take notes from research sources. Journey North has excellent resources to help kids collect, share, and analyze evidence about seasonal change. These tools can be used outside of the Journey North site to help kids do scientific inquiry. Brainstorming charts help kids pose questions about habitats, life cycles, migration, or other seasonal change topics. They gather their own data and use it alongside observations from other scientists. Then kids use graphic organizers to take notes from research resources. Journey North even provides the tools for kids to write conclusions about their own questions.

Editor's Note: Journey North is no longer available.

Journey North is a free website that helps kids record and share observations about seasonal change. These observations vary from the length of a day to a flower blooming or the presence of a butterfly. Resources are available to help kids figure out their longitude and latitude so they can include it with their observations. This site can be used by any nature lover but is best for elementary or middle school students learning about ecosystems, life cycles, or the seasons.

Webcams of gray seals, osprey, puffins, polar bears, common terns, and brown bears are intended to let kids see how the seasons affect living things. However, during certain parts of the year, the webcams aren't live like when polar bears are out during their hunting season. For example, puffins are only on camera from May to July, when they're breeding. Teachers will need to take that into account in their planning or settle for recorded images. While this lack of live access demonstrates how behaviors change with the seasons, this may not be obvious to kids who are viewing taped footage from a different part of the year.

At first glance, Journey North may seem like any other citizen science website. However, if you dig deeper, there are a lot of resources that help teachers build quality inquiry experiences for their kids. For example, under the Student Showcase, templates and graphic organizers help kids develop research questions using evidence from the site. In addition, printable worksheets can help kids take notes from research sources. Examples of student research presentations are available on the site and include murals, booklets, and posters. Journey North could be improved by adding a teacher dashboard with a way to track student sightings.

Standout Activities:
Mystery Class –- Track sunlight and follow clues to find the mystery locations on the globe.
Plants and the Seasons –- Plant a garden and gather data on the arrival of spring as part of an international experiment.
Sunlight and the Seasons –- Track changes in daylight around the world to figure out how sunlight drives seasonal change.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

Kids will enjoy contributing to real-world research. Despite the array of wonderful resources, poor site design makes navigation challenging for kids.

Pedagogy

This jam-packed resource offers plenty of ways for kids to expand their understanding of seasonal change and design their own research. 

Support

Adults can find tons of extension activities on the teacher page. It would be great if the site had accessibility features such as materials in languages besides English and more audio and video support.  

Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

Excellent resource for inquiry based, global science projects.

I love Journey North empowers kids to go beyond the classroom and to connect with the subject. They see why migrations happen, they see why habitats need to be preserved, they interact with other classes around the world doing the same research.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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