Geography Related iPad Apps for the Student and Teacher

As I continue to expand my iPad classroom, I am discovering a bunch of content specific apps for geography that will be great to use both in and out of the classroom. Here is a list of the ones I have accumulated on my iPad thus far:

  • CNN: A must for news.
  • TED: A must for inspiration
  • Discovery Education: A must for short clips and full length videos that provide a wide range of topics
  • Google Earth: A must for…Duh…
  • ArcGIS: A must for showing image overlays and from the GIS pros. This is great for helping to show the power of GIS.
  • QuakeFeed: An app that shows recent seismic activity all over the world using maps and a Richter Scale.
  • Living Earth: An app that shows the World Time and Weather patterns on a moving 3D Earth.
  • Wolfram Geography: Wolfram has always been great with providing statistics and fast, but this one is tailored just for geography. Topics range from Physical geography, geology and climate, political geography, demographics, economics, and social statistics. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty awesome.
  • UNHCR Refugee: An app that places the user in a refugee’s shoes and has them make difficult decisions that refugees often face. It is somewhat like a “choose-your-own-adventure” style, but I don’t know if that is quite appropriate given the content. Perhaps “choose-your-own-scenario” sounds better.
  • UN Country Stats: This app is great because like Wolfram, it allows the user to access data on a ton of indicators, provided by the United Nations, and with the ability to select multiple countries to compare the statistics for up to three countries.
  • Fodor’s City Guides: An app that kids can use to explore a particular city around the World from a traveler’s standpoint.
  • ESRI Place History: This app I picked up at the AP conference. You enter the places that you live and frequent on a daily basis. ESRI then plots the toxic hazards near those locations and users can see choropleth maps of heart disease and cancer occurrences in those areas. Kind of scary actually.
  • ESRI BAO: Enter an address in this app and find out social data such as type of neighborhood, population size, median age, avg. household income, % college educated, unemployment rate, household size, % home owners, avg. retail, restaurant, and entertainment spending per month. (Of the United States of course).
  • Earth Viewer: Describes the eras and eons of the World’s history. As you move the slider across time, you can see how the Earth take formation on a 3D globe.
  • UN AIDS: Maps HIV/AIDS information as accumulated from the United Nations. Other data that can correlate to the disease are also listed (life expectancy, HDI).
  • GeoBee Challenge: The official National Geographic Geo-Bee app. (Just for fun)
  • TapQuiz Maps: Another app that tests the user’s ability to identify a location on a map. (Just for fun)
  • Acing AP Human Geography: Looks like a student’s programming class project, and is limited with vocabulary and models. If anyone out there can best it, I recommend giving it a go.
  • Geo Quiz HD: A game that tests your ability to guess locations, capitals, languages, and flags in a multiple choice format.
  • GeoTest: I love this game! It gives you a random location in the World, and using what I assume is Google Earth Streetview, you have to move around and guess on a map where in the World you are.  A great idea for a geo game!
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Free Online Maps Course: Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Interested in taking a spatial mapping course free form Penn State University? Sign up and follow along! This is the first week that it is being offered and so far over 3,000 people have signed up. This is a great way to learn all about the spatial perspective and how to use ArcGIS in every day life.

If you have no idea what ArcGIS is, check it out, it is quite amazing.  Imagine a whole bunch of layers of data that you can toggle on and off to see if there are any correlations between the phenomenon.  Ok, I know that didn’t sound so amazing-but liken with toggling a map of McDonalds locations and low income housing. Do you get me now?

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Maps are for everyone and you don’t need a background to start, just an interest in maps. Here is a copied and pasted section of who this class is intended for:

Wired: Who’s the intended audience?

Robinson: Novice folks who are maybe coming out of high school in some cases, or lifelong learners who are interested in maps but have never taken a class. My core motivation was to design a course for people who use maps but have never made one of their own. It’s an entry-level thing. It’s the gateway drug to mapping.

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MAP ON!

Wiki – Getting Started | Maps and the Geospatial Revolution.

Educator Imprint: AP Reading~What to Expect

I just returned from a week-long trip to Cincinnati, Ohio where the AP Human Geography reading took place.  What a great experience. Though there were other readings taking place at the same time that we were, there were a total of 460 AP readers for the AP Human exam to read approximately 140,000 free response questions.  When we arrived and checked into the hotel, we headed over to the convention center and completed registration.  Next, we headed over to our table assignments that were listed on the walls.  My buddy told me that this was like summer camp for geography teachers in that finding who would be at your table and table leader would be, was the most anxiety he would experience all week. Since I did not know anyone, it was not that nerve-wracking anyway.

Meals were included banquet/buffet style in a massive ballroom of the convention center. I was absolutely thrilled that food was free, but by the end of the week however, it does become a bit old. We had to report to our tables at 8:00am sharp every day and we were expected to grade until 5:30pm.  We had two breaks and an hour lunch daily.

June 1: Fly in to Cincinnati

June 2: 1 Hour orientation and introduction of the reading, familiarize ourselves with the rubric, practice rubric grading, and begin to grade free response questions

June 3-8: 8am-5:30pm grading

I was able to catch a flight out early on the last day so I did not have to spend the last night there, even though I did have to pay a 75.00 change fee.

All in all, it was a great experience and one that I will do again if allowed. I will write another entry about the things that I learned as well.