Globe & Maps by Azure Iceberg is a new app release that features very cool 3D globes and 2D maps that can be viewed either way. This educational tool was designed with the older student in mind and the developers made sure that their product was slick enough to grab and keep a teenager's attention. With Globe & Maps on their devices, the whole world is at their fingertips and the learning just a tap away. Everything from cartographic, topographic, ocean, and geophysical maps are all covered and the app lets one easily switch from 2D to 3D. We all know that the kids in the US are lacking in their geography skills and this app is one way to get them turned on, tuned in, and in the know. This app has it all covered with great global style. Globes and Maps is a state-of-the-art in execution and covers a gamut of various geography themed activities including identifying continents, regions, countries, territories, and even states. Topography is covered as well and the terrain is shown both on land and at the bottom of the oceans which encourage the students to learn by the association of geological features. The kids that I worked with were completely engaged and learning, the app is slick and appeals to an older demographic, but can interest younger children as well. Some of the kids I worked with wouldn't even comment on the app during gameplay as they were so engrossed in how accurately and swiftly they could place designated land masses where they belonged. I overheard, "I didn't know that was there?" and "wow, look at that." One boy who I asked to play handed it back to me and said it was good, but it needed more countries. I showed him the menu and he was immediately engaged again. Make no assumptions! Areas: • You can place an area at its location either by rotating the 3D globe / panning a 2D map or, once close enough to its location, by dragging the area itself. • To allow manipulation, small islands, and small island groups are shown inside a shaded area of the ocean while very small land areas are shown inside a larger circular area. • When you really don’t know its location, Globe & Maps can place an area for you. An animation will help you learn it. When a student gets stumped which can happen fairly often, the app will help you place the designated area where it belongs by simply tapping on it twice. As you can see by the color-coded map of Asia that this student did well placing these countries in their respective places, the green is done independently and the orange required some assistance. At the time the placement can be a bit tricky as the app requires near perfection for where anything is placed, you do get better as the game progresses and I did not see any children frustrated by this strict feature. The app also has a subtle and unobtrusive way of keeping score and allows students to check their accuracy being exposed to the written name of the specified region or country. This feature helps instill not only the locations but also the given names of each area. This app presents a virtual globe that is easy to use and navigate. The app allows users to explore the world around them at their own pace, and according to what interests they may have in the world, it is also a useful tool for teachers to use for instruction purposes. The app can cross many curriculum areas and be used in any context, a great way to begin a new lesson and help kids recognize specific land masses as well as individual areas or countries. Wish List: We would like to see a little bit of leniency when matching up two corresponding regions. For the struggling reader, we would like the name of the area that the student is placing to be read allowed to help with auditory memory and emphasize geography terms.
Written by Jayne Clare
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.