Geo-Me! by Crackerbox – Review
Geo-Me! by Crackerbox is an introductory geography app (for iPad) that teaches students the physical and human geography of the world with the use of adorable avatars on an interactive map and animated musical stories of children living in different parts of the world.
In order to experience the app’s full functionality, it is recommended that you allow the app to use your current location. The app features 6 child characters from different continents and another 6 are waiting in line to be added. Each character has an avatar called a Geo-Me. Tapping on it from the map gives you the basic geographical facts and landforms around the town/city where the character lives in, first in text and then through an animated musical video of the character’s story. Students will observe how geographic landscape affects the people’s activities. The quality of the animation is superb and the Geo-Me tune is as catchy as a commercial jingle. I only wish that the lyrics are shown in the video so that children from around the world (whose first language may not be English) can sing along easily. [With the update on Aug 17 2013,
English subtitles have been added to all 6 animated videos.]
At first glance, the world map in the app looks bare with only 6 featured locations but many cool stuff are unlocked one by one as I played more. The first to be unlocked is the ‘I’m a Geo-Me!’ Builder where students can use their current locations to make their own Geo-Me’s and have them placed on their own world map in the app. This shows them where in the world they are located. From here, they can also opt to view their locations on 3 zoomable real maps including a satellite map.
Students can further personalize their map by populating it with Geo-Me’s of family members or friends living in different parts of the world. A bit of work is however needed if you are looking for the Geo-Me of a specific city/town as there is no quick search function and we can’t zoom in on the map to accurately find a location. You need to tap as close as possible to the desired location on the map to get it right. It wasn’t easy looking for a little red dot on the world map such as Singapore! But it was amazing to see a Geo-Me appearing wherever I touched on the map and wondered what stories they will bring us in future updates.
A detail not to be missed is that you can tell the anthrome (urban, village, cropland, rangeland or forested), climate (tropical, arid, temperate, continental or polar), elevation and population of a town/city just by looking at how her Geo-Me is dressed. Instead of boring text, these quick facts are presented visually by the type of hat (anthrome), foot wear (elevation), clothes (climate) and bag (population) that the Geo-Me is wearing. Students can also look at the anthrome, climate, elevation and population maps (unlocked at this point) to have an overview of the world’s physical geography.
The next feature to be unlocked is the ‘Where I Am’ Song Builder! which allows students to create an extended version of the song and to share it by email. Being able to personalize the map and the song in the app makes the learning more fun and meaningful. I really like this app as it teaches more than just geography. It bring students on a virtual trip around the world highlighting differences in peoples and cultures but at the same time, showing how similar their lives can be. It helps students, as citizens of the world, to be understanding and accepting of differences. It is a lesson in diversity and geography at the same time.
On the whole, Geo-Me! does a great job of introducing basic geography to students by engaging all of their senses and imagination. The world in an app has never been so fun and personal. It’s a well made app that you must check out!
Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 3G, iPadMini4G, iPadThirdGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadFourthGen, iPadThirdGen4G
Size: 116.79 MB
Category: Education, Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPad 2 3G, iPadMini, iPadThirdGen4G, iPad 2 WiFI, iPadMini4G, iPadThirdGen, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G
Size: 291.12 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
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