by Nosy Crow ($5.49AUD)
Rounds: Franklin Frog is a non-fiction interactive app which looks at the lifecycle of a frog in a fun and appealing way. The genre is a simple narrative, and is well designed with lovely graphics and music. This app is suitable for children in primary and special education schools. It is easy to use and navigate and has a help section. Rounds: Franklin Frog begins with the home screen where the user can view information about how to use the app or select their preferred reading option. There are two reading options:
- Read and play – this option is read by a child narrator. Words can be highlighted as the text is being read or this feature can be turned off.
- Read by myself – this option allows the user to select different transition speeds.
The Read and play section is fantastic because the user plays an important part helping the characters through the frog lifecycle. They help Franklin get food; hibernate; swim; find a mate; and help Felicity lay frogspawn and protect them from hungry fish. After this, we are introduced to Fraser, who we help get out of his egg; eat food and grow into a tadpole, froglet and a frog. Users are then taken through the same cycle until we meet Fletcher, and then it all repeats again. Throughout this learning journey, interesting facts about frogs and their lifecycles are given to the user in the form of comments by the character(s). The correct scientific terminology is used and communicated in such a way that it doesn’t confuse young learners.
Rounds: Franklin Frog is a perfect way to teach children about the biology of frogs using the metalanguage of science, at an appropriate level for children up to about age 10. It is interactive and fun for young learners, with enough science facts to promote deep knowledge and understanding. The app features 100s of facts about: habitats; food chains; predators and prey; mating; and the actual stages in a frog’s lifecycle. The ‘rounds’ nature of the book is great for two reasons: 1) it shows the repetitive nature of the lifecycle of a frog, and 2) the repetition helps students understand and learn the lifecycle stages more deeply.
While reading the story, I accidently pressed the home button on my device. When I re-opened the app, the help screen popped up and asked me if I would like to continue reading, change my settings, or restart the story. This feature is great because a lot of children may tap the wrong button in error.
Future Educational Recommendations: I think this app could be rounded off with some simple activities so that the user can demonstrate their understanding of the frog’s lifecycle. For example, putting together the stages in a frog’s lifecycle on a circular chart, or a quick quiz. However, the learning content in Rounds: Franklin Frog makes this app well worth the download.
Overall, Rounds: Franklin Frog is exactly the type of app that makes mLearning fun and motivating for young students. The simple narrative genre hides the fact that students are actually learning.
Check out my screenshots of Rounds: Franklin Frog and the official trailer below:
Disclaimer: The opinions on this blog are entirely the authors.