Bottom Line: A comprehensive app designed to familiarize kids with the world around them. The depth makes it worth a look, but...
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I have taught elementary school children who think that Washington is a country and the small town in which they live is a state. Kids simply do not have a world view. And it's not their fault – how many families can just whisk their kids away on a whirlwind, global adventure?
Well, thanks to Map My Globe by KidsAndBeyond, LLC, children can familiarize themselves with the countries, oceans, and continents of the world right from their iPad.
Let me start by saying, this app is full of places to explore. There are a lot of components to it, which is great because the user will have plenty to do for fun and fact gathering. Here's the low-down on the different sections:
Map the Globe – The child is presented with an outline map of the world and off to the side are continents, oceans and poles. The child simply drags each item to the correct spot on the map. Each time an item is touched, the narrator names the item. (This section is available in the free version of this app.)
- Map the Continents – In this section, the child selects a continent and has to place its countries. In Easy mode, the child is shown where to place the country. Moderate has the countries outlined and color coded so that the child can determine where to put each country. The Challenge section is HARD, but it is a wonderful learning tool. Here, the countries are just shown in word form and the child has to place them correctly. I admittedly have always been horrible with geography, but as I went through these levels for each continent, I found myself truly learning and remembering where the countries were located. And the great thing for you as parents is that your child will not just go through this app one time and be done with it.
- Flashcards and Fun Facts – This is a cool feature. The child can select any country and learn more about it. Each country's flashcard includes the capital, language spoken, currency, bordering countries, and flag. Then there are other topics the child can click on such as landmarks, music, animals, and fun facts.
- Quiz Master – In this section, the child progresses through levels of quiz questions. Each question can be answered using something learned in all of the other sections of this app. If the child hasn't thoroughly explored the app, they will be difficult to answer so it will encourage them to return to the other parts of the app.
- Scoreboard – The child (or you) can see the scores received on quizzes here.
- Rewards – As users score points, they can redeem them for travel-themed rewards like passports, backpacks, wallets, etc.
The narration, however, has its pros and cons: A lot of the words in the app can be read to the child, which is good. (The narration can also be easily turned off by touching the speaker button at the top of any screen.) The intro to the app is read, the country names are read, and in the flash card section, the capitals, languages, currencies, and bordering countries are read. What I find strange, however, is that none of the fun facts, trivia, or quiz master questions are read and these are some of the most language-heavy sections in the whole app.
The biggest issue is the spelling and grammatical errors in the app. How can an app be this well put together and have no one check it for typos?
It's worth a look but you should probably wait for those issues to be addressed.
This review was written by Allison Kelly who is a hard-working teacher and perhaps needs a vacation to some far flung place on the globe. smartappsforkids.com was paid a priority-review fee to complete this review in an expedited manner.