updated 11:15 pm EST, Thu December 9, 2010
Colorful maps, quiz strengthen geography skills
Hoping to combat the problem of students who know more about the lay of mythical computer-generated lands than the real world outside their city, software maker Geo4Kids has launched its first product -- Countries and Capitals, a cross-platform learning atlas for Mac, Windows and Linux. The software features a quiz mode, flags, capitals and other facts about the various countries of the Earth, aided by brightly-colored maps.
Freeware add-on packs for the program allow children to explore countries such as the US, Germany, Australia and Canada allow the user to open detailed maps of states (or provinces). Any country can be moused over to reveal its spelling, flag and capital. The quiz mode asks players to either name a country based on its capital, or find the location of a specific country. At the end of each quiz, players see their statistics to help identify their weak areas. A compass at the bottom left of the screen can be used to give hints.
The program costs $18 and is recommended for students at all levels. A video tour of the program along with usage tips and a free trial version are available at the company's web site.