I’ve rarely (like, never) seen good “interactive” features in multimedia educational products. They are usually just flashy, shallow novelty. It's generally a content disaster, expensive and pointless. Life on Earth is a showcase e-text for Apple's iBooks app. The interactive animations are stunning—much better than I dared to expect. Amazing tech, good design, meaningful visualizations. Great stuff that had my eyebrows bouncing up and down, and my fingers madly swiping and tapping.
Alas, this may also be the first case I've seen of an e-book like a blockbuster movie: incredible effects, lousy script. Even though Life on Earth actually seems to gets the flashy stuff right, the rest of the content is pretty weak sauce, bland, perfunctory. This review nails it: "The videos are professional-looking, and Important-Sounding. But I'm left wondering exactly why they're there." Yep. Same with a lot of the text. yawn Thank goodness for those interactive animations!