Era of Dino Lite September 29, 2011

Go to the Mesozoic era to learn about the ancient inhabitants of our planet who died mysteriously over 65 million years ago...

This week my app pick comes from Apple Education’s top free apps list for Thursday September29th.  Yes, that means that this is an iOS only app(version 4+).

This week I chose Era of Dino Lite. It took me a while to choose one from Apple’s list. I was actually surprised that a few were on the top 10 list in the first place. I’m not sure what standard Apple is holding their apps to but I passed on several because of bad ratings. I’m sure I’ll return to look for more from Apple’s Education category in the Apps Store, but I’ll be sure to still evaluate any app I choose for this article.

Well, I digress, back to the app. Era of Dino Lite isn’t very flashy, but there’s a boat load of information categorized into three areas. First, you can read about one of the three periods of the dinosaurs (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous). Second, you can read about dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are categorized by carnivores and herbivores. Each list is alphabetized and includes an artist’s rendering of the dino as well as height, length, weight and other noteworthy facts. FYI: The measurements are English, not American. Students may have to do some conversions to relate to the height & weight. The third area covers pterosaurs. This is the ‘lite’ version so that means you only get 18 pterosaurs but the good news there are 150+ dinosaurs. You can upgrade to get the full 330 but I’d check the list of free dinosaurs before buying it. The lite version may satisfy your needs.
(The current price for the full version is $0.99).

One of the factors I look at when evaluating an app is its rating. I read what users have posted and if what I see is good,  I continue evaluating an app. When I read the comments posted about Era of Dino Lite I learned that the information entered for each Dinosaur is from Wikipedia entries. The entry indicates that the information is good, just not original. A few other comments point out a few items are mis-categorized,  so you might want to spot check the facts to ensure it matches another reliable resource if you plan to use this app in your classroom.
So maybe this week’s app isn’t the most exciting, but I hope you clued in on one variable I use to make my app selections. RATINGS

My personal rating of Era of Dino Lite is three stars. For a 'lite' app it has quite a lot of information.