This program is totally consistent with the colorful format found in the
Magic School Bus series. Ms. Frizzle and her classroom gang explore bugs in
four different habitats - pond, forest, jungle, and meadow. Players try to
find missing bugs that have escaped from the classroom terrariums by boarding
the Magic School Bus and searching for them in the different habitats. The
interactive school kids, critters, and Ms. Frizzle share an array of jokes
and facts when clicked on.
If you tire of the hunt, try out one of the educational game style shows hosted by wisecracking Bugsy Da Drone featured
in each habitat or create your own picture using nature-themed stamps on
blank habitat scenes.
Definitely geared for those impatient clickers with short attention spans, this program
draws from a vast array of short clips of information, pictures, and
actual photos. It strives to entertain as well as imparting useful but brief
concepts and information. The program has a closed caption option for the
deaf or hard of hearing.
Every bit as quirky and jerky as the Magic School Bus books with lots of
brief interesting scientific snippets of entomological information. It also
employs basic critical thinking skills. It succeeds in imparting this
information by being true to the Magic School Bus's uniquely entertaining
approach - a combination of cartoon and facts with a variety of presentation
styles, i.e. games, good quality photos, animated characters & bugs.
Lots of whistles and bells on this one - there is always something to click
on. Charming and fun but definitely geared for the younger set. The program
suggests 6-10 years appeal, but 3-8 years old will probably find this most
appealing. Most 10 year olds find this too cutesy although the photo format
used in "the good, the bad, and the weird" captivates even that set. After
listening to a grasshopper chirp out a joke one 10 year old tester said,
"…kind of annoying," but it didn't deter him from trying to play the maze
game twice and being engrossed by the actual photo/fact briefs.
Ease of Use / Install
No difficulty was encountered loading the Magic School Bus Explores Bugs on our
test machine. This program is designed to be used without having to suffer.
It is quite intuitive for most children without need for parental/teacher
Best for... / Bottom-Line
This program could easily be used and enjoyed in the classroom setting
(K-2 or 3) by students (it is fun) and by teachers (it is educational).
Younger children will really appreciate the humor and presentation style
found in this microcosm of facts, but most 9-10 year olds are beginning to
seek a more sophisticated approach to learning.