Review: Rainforest Journey by EdTechLens

Rainforest Journey Collage rectangular with logo Edtechlens Rainforest Journey_zps6pmhoq42As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were given the opportunity to review Rainforest Journey by EdTechLens. We received a year-long subscription to the program for 1st grade.

Who is EdTechLens?

EdTechLens is a science curriculum for grades K – 5. The program is designed to be an enrichment, so it works best alongside your current science program or even as a jumping off point for further studies. Interactive pages are paired with real photographs and videos to really help bring the rainforest to life for your student.

Rainforest Journey

This is an e-course that teaches your student about the rainforest. It uses various types of methods, such as videos, pdf files to read, and slideshows to help teach about the rainforest. There are even interviews with scientists and photos of children in the rainforest to help make it seem as real as possible and as close to an actual class experience as a child can get.

Student progress can be tracked throughout the program. The parent has their own login, so they can manage their students with everything from changing a password to even customizing a lesson. By default, the program starts at the beginning and moves through in a sequential fashion, but this can be changed by the parent. I can see older students being able to move through the program on their own while younger ones will need help. The program even works on the majority of devices: laptops, desktops, tablets and even digital whiteboards.

What We Thought

Colorful, interactive – I thought this would be a no-brainer and that Boobear would love it. I was actually wrong, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

I love how the program is set up. It’s logical, it’s easy to move through, and the exercises were suitable for a first grader. I liked that there were assessments that helped me make sure Boobear was understanding what we were reading. Boobear loves all things science, so he did enjoy learning about the rainforest.

The problem was he didn’t retain much. I’m not sure why, but I think the format of the program just wasn’t a good fit for him. I have noticed that while he likes audio books, where science is concerned he wants a real book in his hands or he wants to see it first-hand. He was more interested in the book I have about the rainforest than he was in the actual program. I was honestly surprised by this, as he normally enjoys just about anything we do. It’s very rare we come across something that really doesn’t work. I think that for some reason this just didn’t click with him.

We actually ended up with a bit of a meltdown when he got confused over a drag and drop assessment.

Boobear greatly enjoyed looking at the photos and he has decided that one day he’s going to the rainforest. He just didn’t like the assessments and the program just didn’t work to engage him the way I expected that it would. I am not sure if he just got overwhelmed, confused, or if it was simply too much for him at this stage. My suspicion is that he got overwhelmed with all the variety in the program.

However, I would encourage anyone who is doing life science or a rainforest study with a K-5 grade student to give Rainforest Journey a try. This is a well-designed program that is simply beautiful and one the majority of kids – and parents – would greatly enjoy.

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About LilBearsMama

A homeschooling, work at home, mom and wife. A wannabe novelist, book junkie, and coffeeholic.

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