Feeling like archeology is a bit dry for the kids of today’s classrooms? Today’s fast paced society makes fascinating topics like the study of humans in bygone eras seem dull to kids. Drawing in some of the technology of the day certainly does not completely replace classroom teaching activities, but can be a great way to draw kids’ interest and get them hooked on a bit of archeology. Take a moment to explore the following apps for teaching archaeology on iPhone, Android, and iPads to get a feel for how you can utilize the latest technology to help your student’s discover the exciting secrets of the past.
- Hidden Land – primarily focused on fun, Hidden Land may be an excellent tool to introduce students to the idea of archeology. Designed strictly for iPad, the game takes players on a hunt for hidden artifacts. While there are a number of games that involve similar goals, Hidden Land is different due to its dual-time ability. Players can explore sites in present time or in ancient time, revealing different things inside pyramids and other sites. The dual-time feature is a fantastic tool to help students understand how different places may have appeared in the past, and how they have been changed by modern man. Platform: iPad Cost: Free
- Hidden Artifact Agency – although this app does not feature the dual time feature of Hidden Land, it runs on a similar premise: finding artifacts in various scenarios around the world. The educational value of this app is the reasoning skills that are developed, as players work to solve mysterious puzzles. Platform: iPad Cost: Free
- Geocaching – a real world activity that thousands around the world enjoy, geocaching can be a fun way to involve technology in an archeology-based field trip. This can be especially useful for middle-school aged kids. Geocaching apps access millions of cache sites around the world that students can discover. Organize geocache days with other schools, even classes in other parts of the world, so that kids can interact and share their finds. Platform: iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Cost: Free intro, $9.99 US for the premium app.
- Google Earth – what better way to get kids exploring the advances of mankind than using the Google Earth app? Whether you want them to locate the Valley of the Kings and explore the surrounding areas, or zoom over to the Taj Mahal, Google Earth can put depth and perspective to the archeological facts your students are discovering. Many sites have images which add to the experience, helping bring the culture of the past to today’s kids in living color. Platform: Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Phone. Cost: Free
- National Geographic Today – the vast resources of National Geographic at your fingertips? Yes, please! Stunning photos and fascinating tales can supplement your students’ exploration of people and cultures. Platform: iPhone, iPad Cost: Free
- Ancient Egypt for iPad – another great app for kids, this offering from Kids Discover is an absolute gold mine! With interactive ways to explore ancient Egyptian culture along with quizzes and games, teachers will find this a great resource for engaging kids with archeology. Platform: iPad Cost: $3.99
- Ancient Greece for iPad – essentially the same as above, but with a Grecian twist! Platform: iPad Cost: $3.99
- Egyptian Hieroglyphics Decoder – we won’t guarantee this app is 100% accurate, but it does make a great way for kids to discover hieroglyphics. Take this on a trip to a museum and click the images you see on a hieroglyphic message. The app decodes the message, helping kids see that those images actually meant something to a culture in years gone by. Platform: iPhone Cost: $0.99
- Hieroglyphs – enter a name, and see it rendered into hieroglyphs. Fun way to get kids interested in the culture of Egypt. Why not have them write their name on papers in hieroglyphs? Platform: Android Cost: Free
- Cradle of Rome 2 – another fun-centered app that can whet kids’ appetites for archeology, Cradle of Rome is an interactive game that allows players to experience ruling Rome. While not completely realistic, the game gives kids a taste of the glory of Rome, its history, and culture. Platform: iPad Cost: Free
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.