This article is in collaboration with EdTechLens.
EdTechLens is a fun and engaging online science enrichment curriculum created for grades Kindergarten through 5th. Their first program, Rainforest Journey, is a one-year e-learning life science program. The program covers the same life science concepts with increasing complexity for each grade level, K-5.
The Rainforest Journey program has video clips, slideshows and still photography, paired with original music or authentic sound effects taken from actual rainforest environments. The student can almost feel like he is in the rainforest. The engaging lessons and amazing, colorful components create a personal connection with the student. The program is meant to make the student feel as if he is a part of the class. There are scientists interviews, rainforest trip journals, and photography of children in the rainforest environment throughout the program.
EdTechLens also makes it easy for the parent or teacher to track the student progress through the program. The teacher or parent has their own dashboard to manage and track student progress. This allow password resets, user management and gives the parent or teacher the ability to customize lessons. The default is for the lesson to appear sequentially; however, the parent or teacher can turn off the default and have the lessons appear in a customized order. Setting up the lessons to work sequentially allows older students to move independently through the program.
The colorful presentation and interactive nature of the program makes it a good fit for non-readers, special needs students, and older students with reading challenges or those with English as a second language. And, as a bonus, the program works on all devices from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and tablets. It is even compatible with digital white boards.
There are 5 units to the Rainforest Journey program. They include: The Big Picture, Adapt or Die!, Animals, Plants and Fungi, and Ecosystem. There are 34 lessons in the Rainforest Journey program and there are different assessments throughout each lesson including multiple choice questions, open-ended discussion topics, and depth of knowledge assessments reinforcing conceptual thinking. There are end-of-the-lesson reviews and hand-on activities that can be done in the classroom or at home. The program also has option activities and resource suggestions including a book list and additional hands-on activity suggestions.
Rainforest Journey is considered an enrichment program. At this time there is no Anatomy section to this life science program therefore not meeting the standards to make it a complete program.
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A big thank you to Tawnee H from Adventures in Homeschooling for writing this introductory article.