Word Clouds by ABCYa.com is free app that allows users to create graphic representations of word frequency. It is very similar to the popular website Wordle. Users type in words or copy and paste lists, speeches, etc into a window. Word Clouds then translates these words into a ‘cloud’, making high frequency words appear larger the more times they occur. Users can change font, color, layout and word count. Recent updates also allow users to input numerals and edit word clouds without having to start over. Once a word cloud is complete, it can be saved to the camera roll as a photo. Word Clouds is beautifully laid out, easy to use, and widely applicable for educational use.
My Life as a Refugee is a free app produced by the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, that helps raise awareness about the daily decisions faced in times of crisis by millions of refugees around the world. Although it is classified as a game, the app is more of a scenario builder in the vein of the classic “Choose your own adventure” model. Users choose one of three characters based on the lives of actual refugees and are faced with different scenarios, choices, and outcomes from the choices they make. The app is simple but effective. There is no voiceover narration and the scenarios do not shy away from the sometimes brutal and terrible decisions and situations that refugees may face, thus the app is recommended for students who are mature enough to handle its content. One of the app’s strongest points is its ability to facilitate thoughtful dialogue about the real situations of refugees worldwide so it is recommended as a discussion facilitator rather than a standalone game experience.
My Life as a Refugee is suitable for Upper Primary and Secondary.
UN Country Stats is a free app produced by the United Nations that allows students to visualize and compare data from over 200 countries and territories using a variety of different indicators. Students select up to three countries from the ‘add countries’ menu and then select their desired indicator from the ‘add indicator’ menu. Hitting the ‘show graph’ button will reveal a bar graph comparing the indicator data from the different countries selected. Students can save comparisons to a ‘favourites’ list, research each country’s entire set of data individually by country from the main menu, or get more in-depth information on the sources, symbols and abbreviations referenced in the data visualization modes.
UN Country Stats is suitable for Upper Primary and Secondary.
Images of Change is free app produced by NASA that shows stunning photos of climate change, natural disasters and the effects of human activity on the environment in a unique sliding “curtain” interface that allows users to slide back and forth between “before” and “after” images of the same location to better visualize the effects of change on the environment. Toggle and side by side views offer alternative methods of viewing the pictures. Location , description of changes and dates are also provided with each set of images. A list mode allows users to search for images by topic while a map mode allows users to pinpoint images by geographical location. Images of Change is also sometimes titled “Earth Images” on the iPad.
Images of Change is suitable for Upper Primary and Secondary.
Google Earth is a free app that features an interactive globe that students can use to explore geography, distances between locations, and satellite imagery of different places around the globe. Layered views allow for viewing modes including political borders, roads etc. Students can use Google Maps Street View, the virtual “tour guide” and the 3D view to explore specific places.
Google Earth is suitable for Lower Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary.