This is a fun little program. Seterra has many different exercises for learning geography. For instance, there are quizzes on country capitals, state capitals, major cities, country flags, mountains and volcanos, etc.
My personal favorite exercise is where you try to identify numerous countries by clicking on a blank map. It's a great way to get good at identifying countries.
In addition, this program also keeps track of high scores, so you can compete against family and friends. And best of all... it's totally free!
2. Google Earth
This is a program that a lot of people have heard of. But I had to put it here because if you have not used this program, seriously, try it out! Google Earth is an absolutely amazing program full of lots of information. And there is so much information constantly being
With Google Earth, you can view satellite maps of the world. But it's not just that, you can see pictures all over the world (some of
them 360 views), links to youtube videos, links to wikipedia entries, traffic conditions, etc. etc. etc.
Seriously... In the time it would take for me to explain what all Google Earth has, you could have already downloaded it. Just go download it.
3. Real Lives
This is a fun little program. Basically... you get to live the life of a person in the world. You can pick the country and create your character, or have your character randomly picked.
To some, this may sound a lot like the Sims, but it isn't like the Sims at all. In Real Lives you can't actually see your character. You don't control his daily actions. Each turn simulates one year. But you can pick your characters career, hobbies, finances, relationships, etc.
Where the educational value comes in is how much you learn from trying to have your character succeed in various countries. The country you live in will really affect how your character does. For example, in the past I have had characters in the United States who did really well career wise. I've had other characters in Africa that died in the first few years from disease. I've also had characters that were involved in social activism that were executed in various countries with dictators. Like I said, the country your character lives in will affect a lot how they live, and in the process you learn a lot about how people live around the world.
The only downside to this program is that it is only free to try. Unless you buy it, there is an opening screen with a delay. But I still recommend checking it out. And want a challenge? Try creating a character in a country like Somalia and getting them to live till they are 80. Good luck on that one. ;)
4. WorldWide Telescope
This is an awesome program put out by Microsoft. I am going to keep the description for this program simple. Basically you can see a real map of the nightsky full of real pictures. Think of like google earth but looking at the sky. See a galaxy that's in the sky that you like? Find it on this program and zoom in to find some closeup photos of the galaxy from the Hubble Telescope. If you have any kind of interest in Astronomy, download this!
5. MyHeritage Family Tree Builder
This is a GREAT program for building your family tree. I absolutely love this program and I've been using it for awhile now. I have imported many GEDCOM databases into a giant database for my family tree. I have thousands and thousands of distant relatives listed on it. How am I related to some relative that lived 200 years ago across the country? This program will tell me just that and the complete line of how exactly we are related. Very very cool.
For getting information about your family tree, I recommend checking out Rootsweb.com
I hope you enjoyed this list. Remember, learning doesn't have to be boring. There are a lot of ways to have fun and learn new information at the same time. Have fun! :)