Teacher Review For iNaturalist

Explore, Learn, and Record with iNaturalist

Laura F.
Assistant Principal
Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School
Oak Lawn, IL
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 3
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
There are a variety of ways in which this website can be used. With a vast repository of species photos, iNaturalist (iNat) can be a resource for whole group instruction with a projector, small group work on shared devices or individually for class research or a homework extension. While iNat's primary use is for older students, it's easy to envision using the photo content with younger students during circle time. The 'Projects' menu is a simple way to differentiate for high achieving students as it allows them to design products associated with standards. While the web design itself is dated, the content and its navigation more than make up for its lack of visual appeal. Depending on the assessment your implementing, iNat likely has a feature to support student learning.
My Take
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.