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!

Educator Imprint-Lesson Plan: My Life as a Refugee

A choose-your-own-adventure for the topic of refugees.

Topics: Population and Migration, Refugees, Push Factors, Supranational Organizations, NGOs

TIme: 50 minutes

Materials: My Life as a Refugee app for iPad/iPhone/Android

Purpose: To have the students see what difficult decisions that refugees must make.

Procedure:

1) Lecture/Discussion: What is a refugee? Discuss push factors. Where are the World’s largest refugee populations in each region of the World and why.

2) Have the students download the My Life as a Refugee app.

3) Have the students write down the decisions that their character made along their refugee path.

4) Debrief as a class: What were the different decisions that your refugee made? Which do you think were the most life-threatening.