The Digital Frog 2.5
Archived posts from this Category
Archived posts from this Category
Posted by Jim Bridges on Apr 30, 2010
It’s April 30, which means it is Save the Frogs Day once again.
Just a reminder that to mark the occasion, we’re having a one day only, Save the Frogs Day sale.
Until midnight tonight, you can save 25% off any Digital Frog 2.5 license, plus we will donate 25% to the Save the Frogs Foundation.
Orders must be placed through our online store.
And to find out what else is going on on Save the Frogs Day, be sure to check out the Save the Frogs Day web site.
Posted by Jim Bridges on Mar 04, 2010
I’ve been trying to come up with a pithy little introduction here, but really all we wanted to share is that we’ve put together a short(ish) movie as an introduction to Digital Frog International’s educational software programs. We think it does a pretty good job explaining what you get with a DFI program, the range and depth of topics we cover and why you and your students can benefit from our software.
So grab some popcorn, but your feet up for a few minutes and let us show you what you get with a Digital Frog product. And if you’re really inspired, you can head over to our DemoWare pages to get your free demo versions to try for yourself.
(If you’ve never checked out the Digital Frog YouTube channel, you can find a growing number of videos, from sample dissection videos from The Digital Frog 2.5 to the shockingly popular time-lapse of a decomposing rabbit, with more going up in the coming months.)
Posted by Celia Clark on Nov 25, 2009
Earlier this year, PETA partnered with pathologist Dr. Nancy Harrison to produce a short video with highlights of The Digital Frog 2.5. We first met Nancy a few years ago when she was presenting her research on dissection alternatives to science teachers in San Diego.
We could not help wondering why a practicing pathologist, who dissects human tissue for a living, would be taking the time to research dissection alternatives. This is what she says on the Dissection Alternatives website hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website:
“As a pathologist, I perform careful dissections every day‚ on human tissues, not on animals. It’s my job to know the relationship between anatomy and physiology, between health and disease.
But it wasn’t the frog or cat dissections we performed in public school that inspired me to study science. It was my excellent science teachers! The energy they poured into our classrooms, the academic heights they challenged us to reach, and their own bright intellects drew me into this field.
Decades later, I’ve come to regret those dissections and have since studied computerized alternatives that are extremely comprehensive. As a doctor who performs autopsies, I can assure students that computer images of well-preserved tissues look more like the “real thing” than the squishy gray organs of a formalin-fixed specimen. Simulated dissection is very realistic, the accompanying text is elegant, and the graphics are superb. Computerized alternatives are rapidly replacing animals in medical and veterinary colleges across the country. And the same is true at earlier levels of training. That means that younger students can easily learn biology by taking advantage of state-of-the-art methods that do not involve dissecting at all. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to science teachers everywhere who are creating a passion for humane scientific study. Tomorrow’s great physicians and researchers depend on it.”
We were not involved in the production of this video, but are thrilled with all that Nancy has to say about our program, The Digital Frog 2.5 and that she is one of our biggest supporters and proponents. And Nancy will not even allow us to buy her a cup of coffee!
We find it interesting that The Digital Frog 2.5 has also been voted the best dissection alternative by eSchool News readers. However, we created the program to teach anatomy and physiology, not dissection skills. We included the dissection module to bridge the gap between the traditional way of teaching anatomy and physiology and the 21st century way – better, kinder and much more cost effective way.
And one thing that Nancy does not mention is that schools can save huge amounts of money by teaching anatomy and physiology with The Digital Frog instead of with wet labs and textbooks. We have just returned from a science teachers conference in Texas. One middle school principal, who purchased a Building Site License for The Digital Frog 2.5 last year, stopped by our booth to say that he has already saved $1,200! You’ll be amazed at the cost savings, especially for large schools.
Posted by Celia Clark on Jul 01, 2009
A few days ago, Jim, our webmaster, sent me a link to an article from the BBC about recent research on the “mystery of the missing frog legs“. For years there has been a common belief that various environmental factors play roles in the widespread and increasingly common deformities, such as missing legs, being found in frog populations.
We believed this to be such a fundamental topic in teaching about frog ecology that we even dedicated an entire screen in The Digital Frog 2.5‘s ecology section to the issue. On the page about environmental concerns, we wrote:
Many scientists consider frogs important bio-indicators. Frogs have permeable skin and live both on land and in water. As a result, environmental problems quickly affect frogs.
Recently, frog populations have declined or disappeared around the world, and deformities and mutations are becoming common. People have found adult frogs with misshapen bodies, extra legs, missing or abnormal organs, and even eyes growing inside mouths!
Frog deformities, mutations and declining populations are not likely to result from any single cause; it is much more probable that many factors affect our amphibian friends. Scientists have identified holes in the ozone layer, chemicals, pollution, habitat loss and frog harvesting as possible causes.
Laboratory tests with ultraviolet light have produced frogs with leg deformities. Scientists speculate that holes in the ozone layer may allow enough ultraviolet light through to affect frogs in the wild.
Amphibian skin absorbs chemicals from both land and water. Tests show that some chemicals, pesticides, and industrial pollutants cause mutations, abnormal growth, or fatal deformities in frogs.
Industrial and agricultural by-products can harm local frogs. Acid rain and runoff rain can carry these chemicals to places far removed from human habitation.
Habitat loss is probably the biggest single factor in declining frog populations. Wetlands are frequently drained, filled in, or otherwise destroyed, depriving frogs of places to live. Commercial harvesting is another pressure.¬† Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of frogs are captured each year and used in laboratories, schools, and restaurants; this causes serious declines in certain species.
We used four frogs in the original Digital Frog, and none had deformities. This version required five frogs, and we discovered internal deformities in three of them.
New research suggests that there are two more natural causes contributing to frog deformities:
1. The fungal condition chytridiomycosis which has brought rapid extinctions to some amphibians.
2. The deformed frogs are actually victims of the predatory habits of dragonfly nymphs, which eat the developing hind limbs of tadpoles! Remarkably many tadpoles seem to survive the ordeal, resulting into as much as 10% of frog populations missing limbs. You can read more on the BBC’s Earth News page (and even watch the video evidence of one hapless tadpole being made a victim by a dragonfly nymph).
In other frog research news, yet another recent study suggests that up to one billion frogs are taken from the wild for human consumption each year. Not to mention the millions of frogs that are cut up every year in schools around the world. No wonder frogs are used as the poster children of the natural world!
Posted by Jim Bridges on Jan 01, 2009
For the month of January, we’re making one of our best deals even better by giving you a building site license of The Digital Frog 2.5 at $100 off the regular price. That is a license for our award-winning virtual frog dissection, anamtomy and ecology program for use on an unlimited number of computers at one site for just $799 instead of the regular $899 price.
Also included is a fully editable electronic version of the teacher and student workbook materials, as well as the rights to make up to 20 copies to loan out for home use.
And unlike some other virtual dissection software, this is a one-time license fee. There is no annual subscription fee. Once you have purchased The Digital Frog 2.5, you can use it in perpetuity, with as many students as require the program.
The special is available exclusively in our online store through January 31, 2009.
Posted by Jim Bridges on Oct 30, 2008
Do you know of an outstanding middle or high school student or teacher who has made strides to replace dissection with humane, non-animal teaching methods or who has implemented or expanded a dissection choice policy?
Do you think they (and their science department) might appreciate $1000 each for their efforts?
The winning student and educator will each receive $2,000, which includes $1,000 for each recipient and $1,000 for their schools.
Any high school or middle school teacher or student who has made significant moves to replace dissection in primary or secondary schools with humane, non-animal alternatives is eligible to receive an award. Please also make biology teachers at your school aware of this opportunity.
PCRM is a nonprofit organization with a membership of 6,000 physicians and more than 100,000 other medical professionals, scientists, educators, and laypersons. PCRM conducts clinical research, promotes preventive medicine, and seeks higher ethical and scientific standards in research and education. To that end, we urge educators to eliminate harmful animal use, including dissection, in favor of validated non-animal learning methods.
A growing number of students and educators realize that non-animal learning methods teach concepts of anatomy and biology just as well or better than traditional dissection. These non-animal methods also teach students to value and respect all life forms and can save schools money.
You can submit your nomination online. (They even say that self-nominations by students and teachers are not only welcomed, but encouraged.) Nomination deadline is December 1, 2008.
Posted by Jim Bridges on Sep 03, 2008
It’s early September and, as hard as it may be to believe, summer holidays are over and most kids (and teachers) are back in school.
To mark the start of the new school year, we are offering parents and teachers the gift of free software. Namely our World Summit award-winning cell biology program ScienceMatrix: Cell Structure and Function. Until Oct. 31, 2008, any purchases made in our online store with a cart subtotal of $45 or more will earn you a free copy of ScienceMatrix.
Spend between $45 and $199, and you’ll receive a single user license, worth $49.
If your cart’s subtotal is between $200 and $599, we’ll send you a Lab Pack (5 CDs), worth $122.50.
And if you spend $600 or more, you will receive a building site license for ScienceMatrix, giving you use of the program on an unlmited number of computers at one site, worth $399.
The offer ends October 31, 2008 and is available only through The Digital Frog Online Shop.
Posted by Jim Bridges on May 23, 2008
The gift of The Digital Frog virtual dissection to a Wheeling, West Virginia school, will save them close to $4000 over five years, according to a story by junior reporters for WFTRF News in West Virginia.
The Ohio County SPCA, with help from PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) donated the software to Wheeling Park’s science department as a replacement for actual dissection.
Pat Durkin is the science department chair and is excited about the new technology.
Rebecca Goth is the head of Education Committee for the SPCA and says it’s time to recognize that killing and harming animals for educational purposes is not in the student’s best interest.
Approximately 450 students take regular or honors biology each year. Even if the school had had to purchase a site license for the virtual dissection program, over five years they would still save over $3000 compared to the cost of frogs and other materials required to perform dissections.
Posted by Celia Clark on Apr 13, 2008
Being dubbed the “frog lady” by all and sundry results in friends and family alerting me to all things froggy.
So I regularly receive emails about froggy topics such as the 70-million-year-old fossil of a giant frog unearthed in Madagascar, the killer disease chytridiomycosis (a fungal disease that has been blamed for the extinction of one-third of the 120 frog species lost since 1980) and even an article about an Iranian woman giving birth to a frog (and the date was not April 1!).
Yesterday, I received several emails about the recent discovery of a lungless frog in Indonesia. One thing that bothered me about some of the articles was the implication that it is unusual for frogs to breathe through the skin as it’s know that frogs breathe in three different ways: though their mouths, lungs and skin. So I consulted the respiratory system module in the Anatomy and Physiology section of The Digital Frog 2.5. This is a small part of what it has to say:
Frogs have three different methods of respiration, or gas exchange:
- cutaneous respiration takes place across the skin,
- buccopharyngeal respiration occurs in the mouth,
- pulmonary respiration uses the nares, mouth, and lung
On land, most oxygen absorption occurs in the lungs. In water, most gas exchange takes place across the skin, but even the most aquatic frogs must come up to the surface to breathe. Most carbon dioxide is released across the skin. While hibernating, frogs do not use their lungs and depend on cutaneous respiration.
It seems frogs are much more versatile than us humans. But then, of course, we are not amphibians.
If you have any quirky frog stories to share, add a comment for your chance to win free software.
Posted by Celia Clark on Apr 12, 2008
We recently returned from the National Science Teachers’ Conference in Boston, exhausted but at the same time exhilarated. Our booth was busy the whole time and teachers were excited about our software. One lady rushed up to our booth insisting “I cannot live without Digital Frog”. We love quotes like this, even it is a little extreme, and probed further. This teacher has been using The Digital Frog 2 for many years to prepare her class for the wet lab. We have asked her to write about her experiences in our new forum which we will be launching soon for teachers and homeschoolers to share their experiences.
Another teacher purchased a Building Site License for ScienceMatrix: Cell Structure and Function last year and told us that her students scored higher marks on this subject than any other class she has ever taught.
A special ed teacher was extremely excited about our Digital Field Trip series to help his mixed grade class of 7 to 12 year olds.
Of course, our goal in attending these conferences is to showcase our products to teachers who have never seen them before, but we get energized by stories from teachers who are using the products. One experienced biology teacher approached our booth with some reluctance having been asked to check out dissection alternatives by his colleagues. We showed him The Digital Frog 2.5 and he then admitted that he had been completely biased against all dissection alternatives, but was now planning on recommending a district-wide purchase!
I was asked at the last minute to present The Digital Frog 2.5 at a presentation hosted by Animalearn (who loan out dissection alternatives free of charge, including The Digital Frog 2, their most popular loan item). Although The Digital Frog 2.5 has been rated the best dissection alternative many times, we do not consider it a dissection alternative program. It’s an anatomy and physiology learning tool, supported by an interactive frog dissection. After all, the ultimate goal of dissecting in schools is to help students understand their own bodies, not to teach them how to wield a scalpel.