Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Merlin Bird ID app supports users in identifying a bird they saw. To identify the bird, the app asks users a series of five questions about the sighting, which includes where they saw the bird, when they saw the bird, the size of the bird, the bird’s main colors, and what the bird was doing when they saw it. From this information, the Merlin Bird ID app provides a list of possible birds that could have been sighted based on the information provided. For each bird listed, users are presented with a picture and general description of…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 5.7
B. Design - 8
C. Engagement - 6.3

6.7

Merlin Bird ID: A Best App for Biology

Summary : I think that bird is a… Ah forget about it. I’ll just ask Merlin!

The Merlin Bird ID app supports users in identifying a bird they saw. To identify the bird, the app asks users a series of five questions about the sighting, which includes where they saw the bird, when they saw the bird, the size of the bird, the bird’s main colors, and what the bird was doing when they saw it. From this information, the Merlin Bird ID app provides a list of possible birds that could have been sighted based on the information provided. For each bird listed, users are presented with a picture and general description of the bird. Plus, users can listen to the sound(s) the bird makes and view a map of its migratory and behavioral patterns. If users think the description of the bird matches the bird they saw, they click the “This Is My Bird!” button. Additionally, users can browse each of the birds listed in Merlin Bird ID app’s index. For each bird listed, users can read a description of the bird, listen to the sounds it makes, and view its migratory and behavioral patterns on a map.

Instructional Ideas

  1. Teachers can take their class to a nearby pond or forest to bird watch. Students can use their iPad to take pictures of the birds they see. Then, when they return to class, students can use this app to identify the birds they saw.
  2. Teachers can assign students a specific type of bird to research. Teachers can then have students use this app as a resource for learning about the bird. As students compile information about the bird, they can create a presentation about the bird using Haiku Deck, Educreations, or iBook Creator. The presentations can then be uploaded or linked to a class website where other students can view them. To add another layer to this activity, teachers can have students respond to their classmates’ posts by stating what they learned from the presentation and what other information they would still like to know about the bird.
  3. After identifying a bird and learning about it using this app, students can conduct further research about the bird by investigating its dietary habits, the amount of birds of this variety that live in the wild, and any other notable information about the bird (e.g., if the bird is hunted or used for food, if different civilizations used the bird as part of its folklore, or if this variety of bird was featured in a cartoon or book). Students can then compose a report about the bird using Quick Office, Pages, or Swiftkey.
  4. After learning and researching about a bird of interest, students can use a variety of apps to document their learning, such as Notability, PaperPort Notes, Explain Everything, or Bamboo Paper.
A1. Rigor
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
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility

Screenshots

  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot
  • ‎Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab Screenshot