The application Stack the Countries, is a user-friendly geography application that targets many ages and engages the user in a fun game. The game can be used in multiple languages, English, Spanish and French. The game teaches users different countries geographic locations, capitals, languages, flags, monuments, as well as many other facts about the countries. While the display and graphics of the game lend to a younger audience, the information within the application is somewhat advanced, yet important for everyone to know and understand.
The game builds on itself to allow for more learning over time and across different skills. To ensure that users have some sense of geography before playing the game, there is a “Learn Before You Play” option, which allows the user to go through the 193 different countries on flash cards to get a basis of what is to come, or to refresh their previous knowledge. While the user learns information on each country, they stack them up in order to reach the next level. Every level beat earns the user a random country which they then add to their continents until the get all 193 countries and complete all 7 continents!
One downfall to the application is that it is not free, which may pose a problem for some schools. However it is only 2.99 and has additional games within. As well as completing the continents, earning more countries unlocks two separate games for the user, “Map It!” and “Pile Up!” Both of the additional games are also about geography and build off of “Stack the Counties” and the knowledge gained in that application. So the user is ultimately getting three games for the price of one.
A great feature of this application is the option to focus on a specific country or on the whole world. This would allow for instructors to assign specific countries at a time and base lecture plans around that country and the applications information on them as well. This application is great for history or geography classrooms because of the imagery of each country, along with the detailed information on each. Because this application is fun and engaging it would be a fun in class assignment or a relaxed homework assignment that the kids would enjoy.
Recently the Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies added the intentional integration of technology use, especially at a high school level. This allows for students to access these concepts and skills in a way similar to the 21st century. This application would be a great addition to history or geography classes in high schools and could add fun to their work environment.
Overall I really enjoy this application and wish a more user friendly application would have been available when I was learning geography. The application is very helpful for adults who need to brush up on their geography, adults who need to learn and education themselves on geography and different facts about the world, and for children of many ages that need to learn geography but may need or want a fun and interactive way to do so.