U. S. Geography by Discovery Education iPad Edition

Available in the App Store

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U.S. Geography by Discovery Education is a complex iPad app that takes a completely different approach compared to those apps that focus solely on the location and names of states and their capitals.

Yes, this is one of the more expensive geography apps we have reviewed. It is well worth the cost considering the amount of content and activities it contains. Kids and adults are sure to enjoy this app.

An internet connection is required in order to access all of the features of this app. Also, a warning to parents, there are external links and social media buttons in the app. In some areas buttons and links are prominently displayed, others are tucked away in the About section. This is one area of improvement I would suggest to the developer; move all links and buttons for leadership boards, social media and other apps to an area where kids do not have easy access to them.

The overall design is easy to use and intuitive. The developers have done a good job breaking the app into three sections; theater, news and play.

Theater

In this section, you will find videos and explanations of what they think is happening in the videos; such as the video that was on the internet not long ago of a barking cat. The veterinarian that speaks in the video believes it may not really be barking like a dog would, but is making the sound possibly due to a health condition. Another interesting video was that of snowflakes simulated in 3-D. You could spend hours in the Theater section watching the short videos.

News

The News section is broken down into Earth, Dinosaurs and Archaeology. Here you will find news from all over the globe related to those three categories. This section contains a lot of very interesting information; such as an article on a two-headed trout found in Idaho or how packs of gray wolves may be returning to California.

Play

Up to six user accounts can be created in this section. Creating an account allows you to store the user’s progress locally or on-line. If you choose to join the Explorer Club you can compare how you are doing relative to others. Joining is not required and can easily be skipped over.

As you enter the Play area you will see a map of the United States broken into seven geographic regions; such as the Pacific, Mountain, and Midwest and so on.

After choosing a Region, choose Activities or Challenges. I would suggest starting with Activities, which prepares you for the Challenges. Activities is broken down into six categories; Region Overview, Climate, Bodies of Water, Landforms, Population and Culture and Major Cities.

Regardless of which category you choose, you will find videos to watch, fun facts to read or listen to and 10 practice questions; all to prepare you for the Challenges section. So, if I had chosen the Midwest Region, I would find videos for an overview of the Midwest region, the Great Lakes, weather and climate, etc. The fun facts would be information for each state in the region; such as Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State. The state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch and so on.

The 10 practice questions are based on information found in the videos and fun facts. There are three levels of difficulty for each activity. The Challenges section is made up of the questions found in the Activities only this time they are timed.

Discoveries are the achievements awarded after completing activities and correspond by region; such as a prairie dog is awarded when completing an activity in the Midwest. Daily medallions are awarded daily.

An iPhone version of U.S. Geography by Discovery Education is available in the iTunes store.

Bottom line

U.S. Geography by Discovery Education is an awesome app!

Play the games, watch the videos, take the challenges, compete against your friends and with others worldwide, become an expert in U.S. Geography and HAVE FUN!

Students and adults alike can explore the United States from multimedia content hand picked by Discovery Education experts and directly aligned to national curriculum standards. The most comprehensive U.S. Geography app in the App Store challenges you to earn 126 unique achievements as well as daily medallions for every week you play. Find your friends in the app, compete in 42 different challenges, and see how you rank against the rest of the world!

You are also treated to dozens of Discovery News stories, updated frequently and addressing topics like the Earth, archeology and dinosaurs. The stories are often published to coincide with current events — a great way to stay up to date on the world around you.

The app is divided into 7 geographic regions (Pacific, Mountain, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, Mid Atlantic, and New England) with 6 categories per region (region overview, bodies of water, culture, climate, landforms and major cities). Achievements are earned by completing activities which correspond the regions to their categories (i.e., Pacific Region Bodies of Water). Once activities are completed, users compete for the highest score in the challenges section. Share your achievements on either your own Facebook wall or your parents’ Facebook walls to keep them informed of your progress.

Regulary price: $6.99

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