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My World Heritage Passport
Pros: Well-organized design lets users quickly find information about a large number of important locations around the world.
Cons: Despite the sleek design, offers little excitement, takes time to download data, and fails to connect all the dots.
Bottom Line: Provides a large amount of information about World Heritage sites around the world and helps make connections among sites, but may not engage students.
Teachers can use My World Heritage Passport when teaching lessons involving geography and world history. Since all the sites have historical or cultural significance, teachers may incorporate the app into lessons about particular areas of the world: They could point out some key sites as part of a whole-class lesson, or have students explore sites on their own to gain more information or spark research ideas. Teachers who want to plan an international trip with students might use the app to help students learn about the significance of the location they're visiting or get them involved in the planning process.
Designed by a Taiwanese backpacker, My World Heritage Passport seeks to provide other backpackers, travelers, and those interested in geography with an overview of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. (World Heritage sites "must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.") As they navigate the app, users have the option to search for specific sites by location, by year, or by using the search feature. They can then note if they’ve ever visited a particular site or mark it as a favorite. Each site’s description comes complete with a brief overview, pictures from a popular photo-sharing site, the latest weather information, and recent blog posts written about the site. Users also have the ability to tap icons representing related categories. For example, if a site is in China, users can tap the China icon to reveal more sites in that country. They can also access maps and directions to help them reach the sites, a feature that will be useful for those already on their way to the sites as well as those planning or dreaming of trips around the globe.
When it comes to helping kids learn geography and make connections among key areas of the world, My World Heritage Passport has a lot to offer. Not only can kids learn about individual sites, they also can look at various categories to see how sites connect with one another. The map feature allows them to see where the sites appear on the globe as well as in relation to one another. In addition to connecting sites, kids can bookmark favorite sites, providing inspiration for them to plan future trips or return to specific sites for research projects or self-exploration.