Top 10 Geography EdApps for Kids

GUEST COLUMN | by Karen L. Mahon

When we’re reviewing educational apps, we find that the toughest academic subject to find high quality educational apps for is Social Studies. It seems like there must be a million drill-and-kill flag apps, but really strong instructional content is much more rare than we’d like. To make your hunt for high quality geography apps a bit easier, today we’re sharing Balefire Labs’ 10 top rated geography apps. These apps have stronger instructional design than the bulk of the geography apps on the market that we’ve seen. Hope they’re helpful to you in finding resources and helpful to your kids for learning geography!

Here we go, starting with number 10….

#10 TapQuiz Maps World Edition

TapQuiz Maps World Edition app iconBy Rolzer, this app presents a printed name of a state, province or country and the learner must find that location on a map. This app does not have adapting levels of difficulty, nor is it mastery-based. But it does have error remediation and detailed performance reports. We recommend this app for ages 10-19+ years. It is available in the iTunes store only (Free). To see Balefire Labs’ full review of TapQuiz Maps World Edition, click here.

#9 GeoBee Challenge HD by National Geographic

GeoBee Challenge HD app iconBy the National Geographic Society, this app has three challenges: multiple-choice geography questions, tagging locations of printed names on an interactive map and tagging spots on a map that correspond to pictures of locations. Unfortunately, this app does not include adapting difficulty, error remediation or performance reports, but it is mastery-based, so kids can’t continue to the next, more difficult level without mastering the current level. Because it does not have error remediation, be mindful of giving it to easily-frustrated students to use independently. We recommend this app for ages 10-14 years. It is available on the iTunes ($1.99), Google Play ($1.99) and Amazon Kindle ($1.99) stores. To see Balefire Labs’ full review of GeoBee Challenge HD, click here.

#8 Capital Cities of the World Countries Quiz

Capital Cities of the World Countries Quiz app iconFrom Bogumil Sikora & Paridae, this app is all about learning world capitals. The app presents the name of a country and the learner must choose its matching capital city from an array of four choices. This app does not have adapting levels of difficulty, but it does have error remediation, detailed performance reports and is mastery-based. This app does include ads. We recommend this app for ages 12-18 years. It is available in the iTunes (Free) and Google Play (Free) stores. To see Balefire Labs’ full review of Capital Cities of the World Countries Quiz, click here

#7 Tiny Countries

Tiny Countries app iconBy TapToLearn Software, this app presents multiple-choice geography problems and the learner must choose the image, from an array, that correctly answers the question. The problems are grouped by continent and the learner cannot progress to the next continent until the current one is mastered. This app does not have error remediation, so again we urge caution when using with easily-frustrated students. It also does not have detailed performance reports. It does, however, have adapting difficulty levels and is mastery-based. We recommend this app for ages 9-12 years. It is available in the iTunes ($3.99), Google Play ($4.99) and Amazon ($4.99) stores. To see Balefire Labs’ full review of Tiny Countries, click here

#6 US Geography with Flat Stanley HD

US Geography with Flat Stanley app iconBy Flatter World, Inc., this app requires that the learner use an onscreen slingshot to fling Flat Stanley onto the target named state. The learner must then construct, letter-by-letter, the name of the state to which Stanley has been flung. We like that this app is mastery-based, but it does not have adapting difficulty levels, error remediation or detailed performance reports. As ever, we recommend caution in using an app without error remediation with easily-frustrated students working independently. We recommend this app for ages 8-12 years. It is available in the iTunes store only ($1.99). To see Balefire Labs’ full review of US Geography with Flat Stanley HD, click here.

#5 Intro to Geography – North America, by Montessorium

Intro to Geography - North America, by Montessorium app iconIn this app, from Montessorium, the learner is required to complete a variety of activities, including matching the shape of the country to its location on the map by dragging it, touching a country given its spoken name, matching a country name and its flag by drawing a line between them and matching a country shape to its printed name. This app has adapting levels of difficulty and is mastery-based, which will help provide motivation, but does not include error remediation or detailed performance reports. Our usual warnings about the lack of error remediation apply. We recommend this app for ages 7-12 years. It is available in the iTunes store only ($3.99).  To see Balefire Labs’ full review of Intro to Geography – North America, click here

#4 EdScout Europe

EdScout Europe app iconThis app, from iHomeEducator, presents the name and flag of a European country; the learner’s task is to touch the corresponding country on an onscreen map. This is a simple and easy-to-use app. It does not have adapting levels of difficulty, nor is it mastery-based, but it does have error remediation and detailed performance reports. We recommend this app for ages 11-16 years. It is available in the iTunes store only (Free). To see Balefire Labs’ full review of EdScout Europe, click here.

#3 EdScout World

EdScout World app iconThis app, also from iHomeEducator, works exactly the same way as EdScout Europe, but presents the name and flag of any country in the world. The learner’s task is the same; she must touch the country on the map that corresponds to the name and flag. As is the case with EdScout Europe, EdScout World does not have adapting levels of difficulty, nor is it mastery-based, but it does have error remediation and detailed performance reports. We recommend this app for ages 11-16 years. It is available in the iTunes store only ($3.99). To see Balefire Labs’ full review of EdScout World, click here.

#2 Earth Challenge

Earth Challenge app iconFrom Tegulan, Earth Challenge is similar to the EdScout apps in that it presents names of places and the learner’s task is to find and touch the location named on the world map onscreen. Earth Challenge does not have adapting levels of difficulty or error remediation (use caution, as usual), but it is mastery-based and has detailed performance reports. We recommend this app for ages 9-19+ years. It is available in the iTunes store only (Free) To see Balefire Labs’ full review of Earth Challenge, click here.

And the #1 educational app for geography is… US Geography by Mindsnacks.

US Geography by Mindsnacks app iconThis is our all-time favorite geography app that we have reviewed. There are eight different and fun activities in this app and it targets state history and culture, capitals and cities, state shapes, famous landmarks, flags, nicknames and mottos, and lakes, rivers and other landforms. That is a larger range of content than we’ve seen in any other geography app. But on top of that, US Geography by Mindsnacks has adapting levels of difficulty, is mastery-based and has detailed performance reports. The one key feature we’d like it to have is error remediation, which is currently lacking. But the adapting difficulty and high rates of responses required by the app will keep most kids motivated and engaged. We recommend this app for ages 10-13 years. It is available in the iTunes store only ($1.99). To see Balefire Labs’ full review of US Geography by Mindsnacks, click here.

And because we like it so much, here is a video preview:

We hope this list has been helpful to you in your quest for the best geography educational apps for kids! Please let us know what you think.

Karen L. Mahon, Ed.D., is the founder and president of Balefire Labs, an educational app review service for PreK-12 that evaluates apps for instructional quality. To learn more about the integration of educational apps in the classroom, watch the free webinars with Karen, sponsored by the Center on Innovations in Learning at Temple University, now available On Demand on Balefire Labs’ Professional Development page.  Balefire Labs is an online review service for educational apps for iOS and Android; they’ve reviewed more than 3,700 educational apps to date and evaluate them according to their instructional quality and usability, based on scientific research. To access all of the reviews available on the Balefire Labs website, sign up for a free account here.

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2 Responses to Top 10 Geography EdApps for Kids

  1. Harin Wickremasinghe says:

    Have you seen the geography apps by Mobile Montessori? http://www.mobilemontessori.org/geographyapps

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Geography EdApps for Kids | Instructional Know-How

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