Friday, June 12, 2015

Tech Review: World Landmarks Explorer

WORLD LANDMARKS EXPLORER is an engaging geography and social studies app from Peapod Labs.
The easy-to-use interface provided access to 112 landmarks in 53 countries around the world.
Users are presented with a scrolling page of locations organized alphabetically. Three square icons are presented for each landmark. Each landmark includes the name and location of the landmark as well as the country flag. Users also have the option to zoom-in to see an interactive satellite image of the location, share the landmark with others, or go back to the list of options. Existing YouTube videos by producers such as BBC provide details about each landmark. Existing photos such as those from Flickr as also displayed. To go to the next image/video, users simply swish.
Although this app is a fun way to explore the world’s landmarks, there are some problems with the software. First, since existing resources such as YouTube videos are used, some are missing. Users simply receive a “This video does not exist” error message. Second, there’s no consistency in video content. The app really needs some basic information about each landmark to provide an introduction to each site.
While the app is lacking in terms of content, it would be a great way for youth to explore many of the world’s most amazing places and choose one for a more in-depth investigation. Ask students to select one of the landmarks and brainstorm questions they have based on the images and videos in the app. Then, encourage them to conduct an inquiry using your school library’s many resources including books, databases, and other quality, informational materials.
You don’t need this app on all your devices. Instead, download it on a few devises and ask students to work in small groups or use it in a display or stations.
Published by Peapod Labs.

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