Review by Common Sense Editor, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
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Brain Cafe GeoQuiz

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Basic trivia game shoots out questions on unconnected global topics

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Teachers say (3 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Students can learn basic facts about the world.

Cons: There's not much context for facts, and the developer makes a point to disavow responsibility for informational accuracy.

Bottom Line: Brain Cafe GeoQuiz can be fun, and students may learn a few facts, but it's not very interactive or meant to be a meaningful learning experience.

Trivia game shows bring out the Alex Trebek in us all. Still, this app is designed for a single user, so you'll have to be Alex Trebek if you want your whole class to play. If you used the questions to get a group game going, students could collaborate to use process of elimination, and, of course, they could learn from each other.

Students using the app on their own can't track their scores, but scoring isn't so useful, anyway: It simply counts the number of correct answers without giving details on which questions were missed (except the category). Perhaps most lacking, there's no way for students to study trivia topics, so between the random nature of the questions and the lack of context, students may be a bit hampered in thinking critically.

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Trivia! Brain Cafe GeoQuiz asks questions about the world's peoples, places, foods, geography, and more. Students who like trivia and have some background knowledge about the topics may find this a fun way to pass the time. Other students may find some questions vexing.

To get started, students scroll through icons and select a topic from among the dozen offered. A 20-question quiz pops up. Most questions are multiple-choice with four options, but there are a few true/false questions.

Questions are mostly about geography, but the app's tag line is "Know Your Planet." Accordingly, categories include countries and flags; capital cities of the world; oceans, rivers, and lakes; mountains and peaks; forests, deserts, and plains; people; extremes; the big picture; the great explorers; climate change; food; and random, which draws from the others.

 

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Some of the questions are pretty obscure, and teens may find it challenging to think through all possible responses and use the process of elimination -- so they may just tap a random answer and keep moving. Younger kids who have no way to answer the questions may find the game frustrating.

After students respond, they'll usually see a short but informative explanation of the correct answer, although roughly 10 to 20 percent of the questions are missing this feature and the developer makes no claims that the information is accurate (most answers include links to Wikipedia). Students who read up could learn quite a few interesting facts, a feature too often missing from similar apps.

If users keep taking a quiz in the same section, it doesn't take long for them to see repeat questions. This is indicative of a limited database, but after you've seen a question a couple times, you know the answer -- and isn't that the point? Students who read the explanations will doubly reinforce their new knowledge.

If kids quit before the end, their score isn't saved. You can't customize the experience with any user settings.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
2

Kids curious about the world may like learning about geography, food, people, and more. Each answer gives a bit of an explanation, but they can't study answers and questions aren't contextualized, so kids may skip through.   

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
2

Sure, kids may pick up some facts. But there's not much context, so there's nothing to encourage kids to think critically about the world. The developer doesn't vouch for the information's accuracy, either.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

There's no help menu, but it's easy enough to dive in. The stats aren't particularly useful, as they only give a score (15/20, for example) without any info on what questions were missed.


Teacher Reviews

2
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Featured review by
Elizabeth H. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Arcadia High School
Phoenix, AZ
2
Easy to use app and while there are categories for the quizzes it is so widespread it would be hard to tie it all with classroom content.

The app gives students immediate feedback on whether they got the answer correct or incorrect. Often times there is a brief explanation as to why and then a link to read for more information. However this does not appear every single time, I would say probably 85% of the time. I like that it is easy to use and that the feedback is immediate and they do not have to wait until they finish the entire quiz to find out if they were right or wrong and why. I do not like that the questions are so varied and there would no way for me to keep track of how my students did on each question because then at least I could only look at the questions that relate to what we are learning in class.

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