Magazine article Teach

Zoology Zone: Raptors

Magazine article Teach

Zoology Zone: Raptors

Article excerpt

Published by Blackstone Multimedia, Zoology Zone is a series of three CD-ROMs that provide young students with an introduction to the world of raptors, bears, and spiders. A mixture of audio-visual presentations (narrated mini-movies), interactive learning activities, music, quizzes, and games are all designed to engage learners and help them understand and retain the knowledge conveyed. This review will be about Zoology Zone - Raptors. Bears and Spiders are almost identical in structure, design, and style.

Zoology Zone - Raptors is organized into five learning areas, or "zones." All About Me, How I Grow, Where I Live, How I Eat, and Did You Know cover all aspects of the world of raptors. There are also tabs on the main screen to a library with Internet links for extended learning, a glossary of terms, and direct access to all the learning games. Within each zone, there are typically four to five sections. If followed sequentially, the zone will start off with an audio visual presentation, followed by interactive quizzes that test your knowledge, and then interactive activities that add new information and learning about the subject.

All About Me explains ornothology (the study of birds) and describes the different types of raptors (owls, falcons, hawks). It then narrates a well-known Indian legend about a hawk who saves the lives of an Indian band. Then a game has you dismantling an owl pellet to see what type of little critter the owl had recently eaten. Another learning module introduces Brenoulli's Law and how it applies to the dynamics of the wings and flight of birds.

Across all five learning zones, there are 25 separate learning strands and interspersed content delivered with interactive learning modules and games to maintain the active interest and engagement of the learner. There are also interviews with experts in the field. For example, Karl Grantmyre, director of a raptor shelter, describes how to care for injured birds. The workshop area has a good range of suggested learning activities to assist teachers in possible classroom activities away from the computer or provide assignment ideas for learners.

Zoology Zone is designed for the classroom, but would be equally suitable for homeschooling, as a resource in the library, and for the parent of any young emerging lover of birds and animals. …

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