Common Sense Review
Updated February 2013

GEO Play - rediscover the beauty of geography!

Rote learning takes whimsy out of world geography
Common Sense Rating 2
  • View the distance between the capital city's location and your pinned answer.
  • Choose one of five regions or the entire world.
  • The flag of each country appears along with country and capital city names.
  • Point totals are displayed per round and overall.
  • Badges with meaningful landmarks and symbols are provided for the most accurate pins.
Pros
Students don't need to know much about global capital cities to play this game and learn more.
Cons
Multiplayer must be done through Game Center; a local multiplayer option would be a boost.
Bottom Line
This versatile app works for kids at different skill levels, but it's mostly about memorization.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 2
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

An eye-catching world map (superimposed with national borders) and simple interface create an accessible learning experience. Gameplay is moderately fun but nothing out of this world.

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

Learning is baked into gameplay, which encourages students to recall the location of countries and their capital cities they've memorized or deduct where they may be and make an educated guess. Lots of memorization, not much depth. 

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

Solid data is provided during the game and on the statistics page, including high score, total score, games won, and games played.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

This would be a good way for kids to do some rapid-fire map study before a quiz or test; it can refresh memory and give kids a boost of confidence. The app is primarily useful for world history/geography study; once kids get their countries and capitals memorized, there's not much more to be done. In the classroom, kids could play against each other or teams through Game Center; a little competition could be fun.

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What's It Like?

GEO Play - rediscover the beauty of geography! is an app that helps students learn and memorize the names and locations of the capital cities of the world's nations. First, students choose Practice (solo) or Play Online (turn-based game with friends or a randomly chosen opponent via Game Center). Then they select Map (find world capitals on the map), Flags (find matching flags for world countries), or Capitals (find matching capitals for world countries). For each mode, you can choose World or one of five regions: America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. For online play, you can also choose to mix three rounds of different types.

 

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Is It Good For Learning?

GEO Play helps students organize a geographical framework around countries by placing them into five regions (America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania). Many of the names of the capital cities in these regions are not easy to spell or pronounce; it would be nice to hear a recording of the correct pronunciation. One of the best features of GEO Play is that it repeats the request for capital cities in subsequent games, so kids are encouraged to memorize them and try again. Memorization is really the key; there's not much depth or additional information beyond country and capital names. GEO Play can benefit students with very little or a lot of geographical knowledge.

Kids will learn by playing the game for points, either by themselves in practice mode or in an online social gaming environment. The baked-in learning in this game adapts to a kid's current level of knowledge in world countries and capital cities by encouraging educated guesses with some points or a bonus for very accurate answers. There's lots of feedback during and after gameplay, which helps kids see their progress in learning these basic geography facts.

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See how teachers are using GEO Play - rediscover the beauty of geography!