Review by Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2013
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Planet Geo - geography games for kids & teenagers

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Good variety of activities, but focus is on surface learning

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
3-7 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: It's colorful and chock-full of basic geography info.

Cons: Not enough audio help or customization options.

Bottom Line: Planet Geo presents lots of info in various ways, but needs more depth to be a great geography learning app.

Teachers can use Planet Geo as practice for kids on world geography both individually and as a class. The timed games keep things moving, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites information keeps this geography app from being only about names of places. Be aware: Teachers should be ready to help students with some of the more difficult city and country pronunciations, as there's no audio here. With eight languages options, Planet Geo can also be a good geography app choice for multilingual kids or ELL students, or in a world languages class. You'll find more here than you'll find in a typical geography quiz app, but you may find yourself wishing for more customization options.

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Planet Geo - geography games for kids & teenagers is a game and information app that tests kids' knowledge of many countries, dozens of cities, and UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, in eight languages. The maps, information about the sites, and cool photos enliven the geography games and can grab kids' attention by turning names and locations into places where interesting things have happened throughout history. Choose a country or continent puzzle (easy or difficult level), a country-to-continent matching game, a "geo book" that provides lots of details about a country or city, or World Heritage Site locator games. For example, choose South America and the app will tell kids what country piece to drag into the lined puzzle in the easy level (or no lines in the difficult level). In the locator games, kids tap on a continent and guess where the requested city or historic site is located and learn a bit of info about it, too. A flag then appears in the correct spot. Made by a developer in Spain and available in eight languages, this is a world geography app for a global audience of kid players.

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Kids can learn about geography -- continents, countries, and cities -- and also learn about UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Planet Geo. Additionally, kids practice puzzle-solving and understanding part-whole relationships in some activities. The app features puzzles, locator games, and more from easy to really difficult. (Can you identify all the states ... in Brazil?) Easy mode keeps Planet Geo accessible for world geography novices, although maybe not as young as the developer's "6 and up" recommended age range, since there are no audio cues. There are a lot of activities here, and a lot of content contained within the activities, but the focus is primarily on surface-level learning: identifying country flags, dragging countries to the correct continent, etc. Planet Geo promotes exploring the world through maps, games, and some interesting information, but needs more depth to be a great geography learning app.

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Overall Rating
2

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Colorful maps, written information about UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the cool photos that accompany them enliven the basic geography games.

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

A variety of activity types give kids multiple ways to enter the content. However, much of the content focuses on basic facts without delving very deeply.

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

Flags and stars provide feedback, but the feedback doesn't always make sense (a thumbs-up regardless of accuracy, for example). Voice instructions would be a good addition for younger users.


Common Sense Reviewer
Dana Villamagna Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Eric L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
South Valley Junior High School
Liberty, MO
3
Good simple introduction for early grade school explorers.

I think grade school students would enjoy this app but I was a little disappointed in the way in which you place your guess on the map. It was difficult to get very detailed with your selection while using your finger on the app. A stylus would probably be a nice addition so that players could be more precise in their selection.

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