A. Instruction - 7
B. Design - 9.3
C. Engagement - 8.3
Learning about Food Chains Has Never Been So Interactive!
iBiome Ocean is an in-depth exploration into the oceans. After launching the app, Professor Bio provides an overview about oceans that includes information regarding the animals that live in oceans, what the oceans provide humans, and climate change’s impact on oceans. After the overview, users begin to explore the ocean’s different biomes – the Coral Reef, Tide Pool, Kelp Bed, and Open Sea – through hands-on activities. Users begin with the Coral Reef biome, and Professor Bio guides them into categorizing the different natural elements and animals as consumers, producers, prey, and predators to create food chains.
To create these food chains, users must drag the icon representing the element or animal into the blank spaces provided. As users correctly categorize the different elements and animals, Professor Bio provides additional information about them and users advance levels. (If users categorize an element or animal incorrectly, the icon bounces out of the blank space and users are given another opportunity.)
As users advance levels, they unlock the new biomes. After completing a level, users can advance to the next level by tapping the yellow “Arrow” button on the bottom right of the screen and they can access the dashboard by tapping the “X” button on the top of the screen. From the dashboard, the “Journal” feature includes a catalog of the all the animals they have identified in the form of a food chain for each biome, and users can scroll through the different biomes they have unlocked with the “Arrow” button on the top of the screen. Users can also tap an animal to access information about it and view its picture.
In addition, users can tap the “Oceans & Us!” button to learn how plastic bottles left on the beach impact ocean life. Returning to the “Dashboard” view, users can tap the “Build” button to see how different everyday items humans use impact the ocean, and the “Map” button allows users to access the different biomes and continue discovering the elements and animals that comprise the food chains. Finally, the “Task” button allows users to return to discovering food chains in the different biomes.
- As an independent learning activity or to reinforce a lesson, teachers can have students use this app to learn about the different biomes and animals that live in them. To further their learning, teachers can have students write a short summary that outlines the multiple elements in the food chain and how they interact with one another.
- After advancing through a biome, teachers can have students create flashcards for the different animals, plants, and elements that are part of the biome. On the front of the flashcard can be the name and a picture of the animal, plant, or element, and on the back can be information that explains if its role is that of a producer, consumer, natural element, prey, or predator and how its role interacts with the other parts of the food chain. Once students create their flashcards, teachers can have students work in pairs and quiz each other about the different parts of the food chain.
- Teachers can have students read the information provided in the “Oceans & Us” section. Next, teachers can use that information to bring awareness about how students treat the environment via a class conversation by asking questions such as: (1) What do you do with your plastic bottles after using them?, (2) What would you do if you see a stray plastic bottle on the ground?, and (3) What is one thing you could do to help eliminate plastic bottles from getting into the ocean? As students discuss these prompts, teachers can take notes. After the conversation, teachers can check in with students to see if they have taken any of those actions and they can refer to their notes, if needed.
- Based on the information learned about food chains from this app, teachers can parlay that understanding and have students begin researching food chains in different regions, such as the Florida Everglades, the plains in the Midwest, and the mountainous terrains in Colorado. Using the food chains in this app as a model, students can make diagrams of the food chains for the different settings on paper or using a graphic organizer tool. Once finished, students can share their work in small groups, by posting them to a class website, or making a short presentation to the class.
|A2. 21st Century Skills|
|A3. Conn. to Future Learning|
|A4. Value of Errors|
|A5. Feedback to Teacher|
|A6. Level of Material|
|A7. Cooperative Learning|
|A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.|
|B1. Ability to Save Progress|
|B2. Platform Integration|
|B3. Screen Design|
|B4. Ease of Use|
|B6. Goal Orientation|
|B7. Information Presentation|
|B8. Media Integration|
|B9. Cultural Sensitivity|
|C1. Learner Control|