5 Geography Apps to Help Middle and High Schoolers Travel the World

Best Geography Apps

Developing an interest in international affairs starts with knowing the names, capitals and history of foreign nations. These mobile apps allow students to virtually visit areas of the United States and other countries, while teaching important statistics and facts about them.

Stack the Countries™ ($1.99)

There are several key concepts related to countries and continents taught and reinforced in this game. The main concepts are capitals, landmarks, continents, major cities, border countries, languages, flags and country shapes. The number of concepts covered in the activities can be adjusted in the settings, so users can select the topics that will be included in the game. There are more than 1,000 unique questions, flash cards for each country and interactive maps of the continents. The gaming format of this app is engaging and tons of fun for kids as they learn about countries and continents around the world. Much like the related game, Stack the States, this will definitely be a student favorite. This app is most relevant to the lower grades of middle school, but it can easily be used by upper elementary-aged children as well.

(Curated by Julene Reed)

History: Maps of the World (Free)

This app provides a static collection of historical maps of the world, including a variety of population density maps, exploration maps and battle maps. Although the maps are static, you can zoom in on them. It’s the added features that make this app worth the download. Simply exploring these historical maps can be entertaining and educational in itself, but with many of the maps, additional information is right at hand. With one tap, you can be taken to a quality modern map of the same area. Additional information from Wikipedia is also just a tap away.

(Curated by Keith George)

U.S. Geography by Discovery Education iPad Edition ($0.99)

This app is a great mix of content and fun activities, providing several options for students as they learn about the geographic regions of the United States. There are excellent videos and lots of information presented on the seven geographic regions of the United States: Pacific, Mountain, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and New England. The topics that are covered include: region overview, bodies of water, culture, climate, landforms and major cities.They can watch videos, read key information about the regions, participate in interactive gameplay, earn rewards and access news stories that relate to current events in both text and video formats.

(Curated by Julene Reed)

EarthViewer (Free)

This app is an interactive learning tool for exploration of the deep geographic history of the Earth dating back billions of years. The ability to visualize the changes in the formation of the continents during to major time periods along with the related data and information makes this a unique educational resource. This app teaches concepts and information related to geography, geology and biology while enabling connections across those disciplines. It is a great visualization aid that shows the movements of continents over time and the action of plate tectonics. There are three time scales covered in this app: modern Earth, Phanerozoic and deep Earth time.

(Curated by Julene Reed)

National Geographic World Atlas (Free)

This interactive atlas opens with a full motion globe that features different views, including a satellite view that is breathtaking. To navigate the app, simply pinch to zoom in and out. You can pan the maps in all directions and you can even mark your favorite locations with virtual push pins. A tap of your finger displays the latitude and longitude of a location. The HD quality maps allow for an incredible amount of detail to be included, and this provides parents and teachers a wide array of teaching strategies to help students master a variety of mapping skills, in addition to the information included in the app that could be used for research. The atlas is not dependent on an Internet connection.

(Curated by Keith George)

(This content was originally posted at appoLearning.)

Author:

Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).