App of the Week: My Noah from Project Noah

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Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iTunesWhen you combine two things I love, nature and tech, I’m bound to get giddy with excitement and that is exactly what happened when I discovered the My Noah app from Project Noah. We live in the woods and spend a lot of time outdoors exploring and participating in nature study and as much as I love having my kids sketch out their finds, it isn’t always ideal. Now, with the My Noah app we don’t have to always have sketchbook on hand and can quickly expand the studies to so much more.

What is Project Noah?

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Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iPhone from iTunesProject Noah launched in 2010 as a location based application for to get people involved with the nature around them again, documenting their local wildlife. The project now serves as global database, documenting species of wildlife from those exploring nature as amateurs to the professional scientist with "well over 90K registered members now, with visitors from 211 countries & spottings from all 7 continents."

Project Noah allows members to add photos of wildlife along with documentation of where they spotted the species, any identifying tags and much more. Users can join missions, such as Birds of the World, to add their spotting to as well. For a fun added incentive, you can even earn patches for your profile based on achievements you have made with your spottings.

The press has given much praise to Project Noah as well with BBC stating “A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future.” And Mother Nature Network said, “Project Noah and its innovative app bridge the gap between professionals and amateur wildlife enthusiasts.”

What is My Noah?

My Noah is the mobile application for Project Noah, the heart of the system. Available on both the Android platform and iTunes in the education category for free, the app harnesses a wealth of information for budding little scientist but is simple enough for a young elementary student to use with some initial instruction.

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Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 Android Market

While the look and function of the app varies slightly depending on the platform and device used, the basics are the same. You will find a place for your spotting, missions, patches and settings.

Mission: The Florida Scrub for Homeschoolers

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Screen clipping taken: 1/31/2012 iPhone via iTunesIf you hadn’t already figured it out, I love this app and project as a whole but especially love that you can create your own missions for spotting wildlife, which is what I did this morning when I created “The Florida Scrub for Homeschoolers” mission.

You see, I remembered a great curriculum I came across a few years back created by the Archbold Station in Venus, FL that teaches students all about the Florida Scrub habitat. We live in one portion of this habitat and encounter the wildlife on a daily basis. My kids are old enough now to start to dig into the curriculum and begin to identify some of the species that are native to our local environment. What better way to begin working on this than to include My Noah as part of the project and have the kids put their Florida Scrub spotting into the mission?

I have opened the mission up to all homeschoolers in Florida who would like to join in identifying the wildlife to add their spotting, as well as anyone else who could help the children find some of the more elusive species on the list.

So what are you waiting for, go download this great app, get outdoors and start spotting. Don’t forget to set up your own mission as a nature study/science project or join in some local ones near you too!

You can also find Project Noah on Twitter & Facebook.