App Name: Observe and Learn
What does it promise? This app lets users step into the shoes of an animal behavior scientist by conducting an investigation. Students can use this app to study their favorite animals anywhere, anytime…at the local zoo or park, in their back yards, or (in the case of pets) even in their living rooms.
Does it deliver? Developed by the Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration at Lincoln Park Zoo, Observe and Learn immerses students in the world of ethology (the study of animal behavior). Designed for users 11 years and older, the app will show them how to study animal behavior using the methods that researchers use.
One of the app’s best features is that it allows students to research any animal they choose. They can use the default ethogram (behavior checklist) to observe any animal, or they can launch a study of their own design by creating an original ethogram for which they define the behaviors. Either way, they’ll gather real data that they can share with the class. Data can even be collected over time for a long-term class project.
Can I use it in my classroom? This app can enhance any elementary-level lesson on animals or the environment.
All apps can be found in the iPad apps store under education.