State Bingo and Road Trip U.S.

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Age Scale: 7-13

Device: iPad

Quick Line: Hit the Road With This App!

What Educators Need to Know:

Planning on traveling this summer? Download State Bingo and Road Trip U.S. and have your child learn about the U.S. as you go!

The app features two games, the first of which is State Bingo. Choose a level: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Users answer questions and riddles about states. Stumped? Use the fully illustrated map to help you on the first two levels. Think you are an expert? The reference map has only state names and you have to answer questions by state shapes instead of names. Talk about a challenge! Win the games to send states to statehood.

In Road Trip, select a travel direction for Pep the car. Answer at least one question to move Pep to the next state. Choose wisely or you’ll end up with flat tires! This isn’t a problem if you stick with the Easy level, like me!

There are several things that sets this app apart. One, it is very comprehensive. The content includes state capitals, state shapes, U.S. regions, map navigation, facts, landmarks, nicknames, and more. Two, the built in reference map is stellar – very pleasing to the eye and contains just enough information to not overwhelm the user. Three, I gravitate towards multi-level games. It allows a teacher the flexibility to meet the needs of individual learners so easily! I can easily envision a classroom of mixed ability learners enjoying this app.

Price: $2.99

State Bingo and Road Trip US - Niyaa LLC

DK Quiz

Age Scale: 10-adult
Device: iPad, iPhone, and iPod
Quick Line: Are You Smarter Than Your Friends?
What Educators Need to Know:
You already KNOW that you are smarter than your friends, but DK Quiz will help you prove it! Dorling Kindersley makes some fabulous books, and the app follows in suit. There are quizzes on a large variety of topics including music, film, travel, history, sports, etc. Playing offline allows you access to each. Quick, correct answers are rewarded by placing you at the top of the leader board. The challenge mode allows you to log into Facebook to compete and share your bragging rights. How might I use it? Well, the travel questions are terrific and fit right into our study of world geography. But I’m thinking of including this app into my daily iPod activities as an extension for my high kids.
Price: FREE

 

DK Quiz - Dorling Kindersley

GeoPop

Age Scale:  10-16

Device:  iPad

Quick Line: Interactive and Inexpensive GeoGame

What Educators Need to Know:

Geo Pop by SleekGeek is, indeed, sleek.  This smooth geography game has three levels:  Easy, Normal, and Challenge.  Questions range in difficulty from “Where is Portugal?” to “The Junkanoo parade on Boxing Day is a big celebration in which island country?”  Tough enough for ya?! Students use the scrollable, zoomable interface to tap their answers, and hints are provided for all questions.  It does not have the graphics that the National Geographic app offers, but being able to select a level from the onset is a nice feature.  Plus, the price is right!

Price: $.99

GeoPop - SleekGeek

TourWrist

Age Scale:  10-18

Device: iPod, iPhone, or iPad

Quick Line:  Photography Meets the Classroom

What Educators Need to Know:

TourWrist is not intended to be an educational app, but it provides so many visuals to a world that most students won’t have the chance to explore, that it is hard not to include on a list.  Plus, it is just really cool.  TourWrist provides panoramic pictures of places all over the world.  I don’t know how it works, but by turning your body/device, it is as if you are really there!  Users can search by Categories that include Points of Interest, Hotels and Resorts, Dining, Retail, Arts and Entertainment, etc.  The tricky part will be monitoring students to make sure they stay on task when using this app.  But as with all internet content, in this teacher’s opinion, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and potential problems.  How to use it?  Say you are teaching about St. Patrick’s Day, and you want to give students the feel of what it is like to live in Dublin, Ireland.  Click on ALL panos and use the map to zoom into Ireland.  Select the pin closest to Dublin, and BAM, you are the middle of the city!  This would be a great writing tool.  Students could describe what they see using sensory details and other forms of figurative language.  Or, after learning about the Irish culture, they could use the picture to verify some of the things they learned.  Again, you need to design lessons with specific locations in mind, but it has the potential to be a great tool.  Not to mention, students can make their own panoramic pictures.  What a great assignment for those students going on vacation!

Price:  FREE

TourWrist - SPARK LABS

GeoBee Challenge HD by National Geographic

Age Scale:  9-16

Device:  iPod, iPhone, or iPad

Bottom Line: A bargain for $1.99

What Educators Need to Know:

If your school participates in the National Geographic Geography Bee like our school does, then you will want your students to have this app.  No doubt about it – the questions are tough.  But they are similar to those experienced in the Bee-  covering a wide range of physical and cultural geography concepts from all over the world.  Each question allows you to earn a score based on accuracy and the time it takes to answer.  You need a minimum score to advance to the next round.  With National Geographic, you can be assured that the content is accurate, and the HD map rounds use the features of Apple devices to their fullest.  This is a great app that could be used to challenge and enrich learners!

Price:  $1.99 at the time of review

GeoBee Challenge by National Geographic - National Geographic Society

Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa

Age Scale:  6-11

Device:  iPad

Bottom Line:  Africa + Aliens = Awesome

What Educators Need to Know:

What could be more fun than interactive iPad travel for kids?  Doing so with two aliens from a fictional planet!  In Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa by Cognitive Kid, Inc., students have three exploration choices:  the Serengeti Plains, Nile River Valley, and Sahara Desert.  From there, students click on a variety of icons to learn more about the region.  For example, when visiting the Sahara, students can learn more about camels, the ostrich, and the Rose of Jericho.  The content is extensive, but even younger learners will enjoy the conversational format the app provides.  It is more like listening to kid-friendly tour guides than reading an encyclopedia.  For those who need a game to keep things going, the app encourages kids to explore by having them collect pieces of the spacecraft.  Teachers know they have explored quite a bit if they have collected enough pieces.  In addition, there are a few built-in games that loosely relate to the content, but they are too easy older students.  There is a travel journal component to this app, but don’t get too excited.  Since there was nowhere for students to write their own information or take notes, I had them take notes on notebook paper and create a journal after the fact.

Price:  $4.99 at the time of review

Ansel & Clair's Adventures in Africa - Cognitive Kid, Inc.