Meet the Insects: Village EditionSpring 2013 Mobile Apps
Meet the Insects: Village Edition will turn amateur backyard explorers into seasoned entomologists. With so many apps focusing on early reading and math skills, it can be difficult to find educational apps for children ages 8 and up. Meet the Insects is a fantastic example of an app that fully takes advantage of the iPad's multimedia technology in a way that appeals especially to older children and tweens.
Meet the Insects is a thorough and colorful encyclopedia of insect that pairs multimedia photos and videos with a great deal of valuable information for the budding insect lover. Children can listen to The Insect Story to learn the basics about insects before they delve into the app's extensive encyclopedia of insects. The latter is grouped by order (Diptera, Lepidoptera, Hemptera, etc.), and includes several fact sheets describing the insects within each species. A narrator reads each card, which includes interactive media options including photos, videos, and fun facts. One peripheral benefit of these fun facts and photos is that children may feel less fear toward bugs as they learn more about them and see what they look like up close.
Though the app is recommended for ages four and up on iTunes, we found that children ages 7 to 10, and especially those who are confident readers, will enjoy it most. Thorough narration makes the information throughout the app accessible to pre-readers. However, the app also uses scientific names for most animal species, and the Latin words may intimidate young ones who try to navigate the app alone. Younger children may also be unable to appreciate the Journal, one of the app's standout features. Using the journal, children can capture the insects they see with a photo. There's space to note when and where the insect was spotted. Children can compare the photos of insects they've seen with the ones featured in the app as they try to identify different species.
Users of this app will learn a great deal about insects in an immersive learning environment. There are quizzes, too, which will give insect researchers a chance to prove how much they've learned.