Project Noah

Common Sense Media says

Share nature photos and help research, but watch privacy.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Though the app is relatively intuitive, the introductory tutorial is a little brief. The field guide can be a bit confusing, but the steps for submitting a new spotting are clearly explained. Explanations of the project, missions, and earning patches are located on the corresponding website. In order to use the app, you must sign in using an existing account (Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL, Yahoo, or Windows Live). For full functionality, you must also share your location.

Violence

Some photos contain violent but scientific content, such as a dead fish in the Gulf Oil Spill Impact mission, or a lion eating a carcass in the 2011 Best Wildlife Photo Contest mission. There is a link to flag inappropriate photos.

Sex

User-submitted photos or explanations could contain information about reproduction (it is the birds and the bees, after all!) in a scientific sense.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy and safety concerns. The app depends on access to your location to map your spottings and show nearby missions and spottings from others in the field guide. Users are also required to sign in using an existing email address, FacebookTwitter or a few other social networking accounts. Users can then share their name and a profile photo, which will be associated with their activity within the app and posted on the website. For example if you "favorite" or comment on a picture, that will be shared on the website with a link to your profile and spottings, including the locations of your submitted photos. The app may automatically share activity on social networks, but this can be disabled in the settings. Most of the missions have links to contact the requesting organizers or visit their website. When perusing pictures in the field guide, there is a link to share the spottings via social networking or email.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Project Noah is an app adaptation of an innovative website that allows you to submit nature photos to help with global research missions, but there are privacy and safety concerns. In order to use the app or website, you must sign in with an existing account (e.g., Google, Facebook, or Twitter), and full functionality requires access to your location. Once signed in, you can submit photos of wildlife with labels or a request for others to suggest what species they are. Photos can be submitted independently, or you can join missions to submit specific requested photos and help to document species. Some of these missions support scientific research, such as the Lost Ladybug Project. Submitted photos are associated with your login account and include a link to your profile, for which there is an option to include your name and photo. Submitting photos and participating in missions earns you patches. There is also a field guide that displays photos submitted by others that can be filtered by wildlife type.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Science

  • animals
  • biology
  • ecosystems
  • plants

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • collecting data
  • making conclusions

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Students will enjoy using their mobile devices to get outside and look for new things. The design is clean and intuitive. Teacher-created, structured missions that match the class curriculum might be more engaging.

Learning Approach

Kids learn how to see the environment and begin scientific fieldwork. This powerful tool empowers kids to document what they see, right where they are. The additional steps of field research (naming, context, etc.) could extend the learning.

Support

The experience is fairly simple, but there's no tutorial or obvious starting point. The website offers a FAQ and more detailed information about the project and may be a better place to begin. The active user community can help inspire excitement.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • vocabulary

Science

  • animals
  • biology
  • ecosystems
  • plants

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • collecting data
  • making conclusions

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together

Kids can learn a range of scientific concepts and skills with the Project Noah app. They can learn about species classifications, ecosystems and habitats around the globe, endangered and threatened species, and more. If they join the app's missions, they can learn the real-life work of biologists and ecologists by helping track a particular species or adding to a catalog of data about a neighborhood or region. In addition, the community structure of the app helps kids build important collaboration skills. Project Noah gives kids a chance to do real-world, scientific fieldwork with the support of a knowledgeable and global community.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

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What's it about?

The main activities in PROJECT NOAH include submitting wildlife and plant life spottings, joining missions to help crowdsource a particular set of spottings, and browsing submissions from other community members. To submit a spotting with the app, users tap the "New Spotting" button, choose a category such as mammals or fungi (if they know it), upload photos, and enter data about the spotting such as common name, scientific name, date spotted, and location. Users can also ask the community for help identifying the species.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The idea behind Project Noah is commendable -- fostering the development of "citizen scientists" by engaging people in the wildlife around them and crowdsourcing the collection and verification of data. This app makes it easy to submit pictures on the go and, if you're comfortable with the location sharing, to see what other people in your neighborhood are noticing and submitting. Also, the missions and patches can help kids feel appreciated for getting involved and contributing to research.

To really get the most out of this app in terms of understanding the missions and viewing photos, visiting the website is recommended. In addition, unlike some other wildlife apps such as Audubon Birds, there isn't much information about the wildlife included; info and help with species identification comes from other users. Finally, the whole project is based on creating networks, so this app will require working with your kid to create a safe profile and talking together about online communities.

Families can talk about...

  • Help your kids set up their accounts and adjust privacy settings. Project Noah is a social network, so kids need to be aware of what they're sharing and with whom.

  • Get out into the field with your kids! Start with the backyard or a nearby park. Encourage them to identify their spottings before submitting to the Project Noah community.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:February 24, 2012
Category:Education
Size:9.40 MB
Publisher:Networked Organisms
Version:2.6.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of Project Noah was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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