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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages

How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages | Geography Education |
This map by Jakub Marian shows you how to say Merry Christmas in European languages.
Seth Dixon's insight:

To those that celebrate Christmas I was going to wish them a Merry Christmas in English, but this gives us so many other options...Feliz Navidad!   For any interested in exploring the setting of the Christmas story from a geographic perspective, read on. 


Tags: religion, Europeculture, historicallanguage, seasonal.

Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, December 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Working on the pronunciation....

John Peterson's comment, December 19, 2015 1:32 PM
I learned something new. Thanks.
Marianne Naughton's curator insight, December 24, 2015 8:54 AM

Merry Christmas To All !!!

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Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain

Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain | Geography Education |
The Spanish region of Catalonia adopts a resolution supporting independence from Spain, but Spain's PM says his government will challenge it.

Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomyEurope, culture.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:45 AM

I've never heard of this country until recently when I came across a video on youtube about it. In my opinion, Catalonia has the right to secede from Spain because there are many ethnic group wanting their own dependence around the world and it doesn't feel like it's a part of another country. However, it all comes down to politics and Spain wants as much territory as it can get. Plus Catalonia is doing pretty for itself and the Spanish definitely want a part of that.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 1:25 PM

the Catalonia independence movement is just a small part of a large number of regions which were once autonomous and wish to be again. with so many of these areas in Europe the independence movements are finding hard to get support from other nations.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:29 AM

Challenging succession is a difficult task. First of all, there has to be a vote by the people and there has to be a strong driving force to get a positive outcome on the vote. The Prime Minister of Spain claims he will try to block it by filing a suit with the Constitutional Court. Succession of a country faces many hurdles especially if it does not have a strong vote to succeed and the opposition vote is strong.

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Migrant crisis: Neighbours squabble after Croatia U-turn

Migrant crisis: Neighbours squabble after Croatia U-turn | Geography Education |
Croatia reverses its policy on allowing in migrants and instead transports hundreds northwards, angering Hungary and Slovenia.
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 9:58 AM

The influx of Syrian refuges has caused a major controversy  in Europe. The crises has ripped open the hotly debated topic of immigration into Europe. Many nations are refusing to take the refuges in. Hungary and Slovenia have been two of the most vocal opponents of letting migrants and refuges into Europe. They are continuing to hold to their closed borders policy. Both nations have become angered by the Croatian governments recent decision to reverse course and allow refuges into their country. This topic will continue to be debated in Europe. In the United States the issue of Syrian refuges has also become a political issue. President Obamas decision to take in some refuges has caused a political controversy to erupt. Some on the right, including Donald Trump have come out against opening American borders to the refuges.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, October 26, 2015 1:02 PM

Croatia has reversed it's policy on the current migrant problem in Europe and the middle east. This is just a deplorable situation that seems to have no end in sight. While I understand the argument that other Islamic countries should be willing to take them, the current status quo simply can't be allowed to continue any longer.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 2:08 PM

of course Croatia has decided to let people through. they can only suffer if they try to stop migrants at their border, especially when the migrants are trying to get to countries to the north. if we compare the cost of trying and failing to keep out migrants and the cost of busing them to the northern boarder, we may find that the cost is smaller when they simply bus the migrants to the boarder and forget about them.

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What happened when Portugal decriminalized drugs?

"For 20 years The Economist has led calls for a rethink on drug prohibition. This film looks at new approaches to drugs policy, from Portugal to Colorado. 'Drugs: War or Store?' kicks off our new 'Global Compass' series, examining novel approaches to policy problems."

Tags: PortugalEurope, politicalpopular culture, narcotics.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The distribution of narcotics impacts virtually every country in the world; there are incredibly divergent strategies on how to mitigate these problems that are a result of sophisticated distribution networks.  What is the best way to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and the illegal activities that accompany the drug trade?  If you were in charge, what strategies would you recommend? Are some solutions a better fit for the political and cultural climates of diverse places?

Kevin Arboleda's curator insight, September 9, 2015 3:19 PM

It is crazy to think that Drugs such as Marijuana can create such a major market and a vast amount of money that can help out the economy. Governments should begin to control these certain drugs like Marijuana that are not as damaging as drugs like cocaine. They should then allow it to be sold to people, obviously with caution and restrictions. Colorado seems to be doing just perfectly fine.

Lon Woodbury's curator insight, September 9, 2015 9:15 PM

The other side of the war on drugs. -Lon

Penrith Farms's curator insight, September 11, 2015 1:21 PM

Very important insight

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How one German millennial chose to live on trains rather than pay rent

How one German millennial chose to live on trains rather than pay rent | Geography Education |

"When others get off the train to finally go home, Leonie Müller stays behind. That's because she already is home: The train is her apartment, and she says she likes it that way. She bought a subscription that allows her to board every train in the country free. Now, Müller washes her hair in the train bathroom and writes her college papers while traveling at a speed of up to 190 mph. She says that she enjoys the liberty she has experienced since she gave up her apartment."

Tags: mobility, transportationhousing, popular culture, Europe, Germany

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 9:46 AM

This is no question that living on a train is a radical decision to make. It is a direct challenge to the idea that you are suppose to settle into one particular area. While I doubt that this specific phenomenon will catch on, our society is becoming more mobile.  People are becoming less tied down to one specific area. The Millennial generation is changing many of the previous social norms. The Millennial generation is waiting longer than any previous generation to marry and start a family. Many are even questioning the institution of marriage itself.  Members of the older generations, will decry these changes. This is a familiar cycle that occurs through out history. The Older generation always decries the changes instituted by the Younger generation.

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4 Maps Crucial to Understanding Europe's Population Shift

4 Maps Crucial to Understanding Europe's Population Shift | Geography Education |
Despite economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe, the continent is still migrating to the Northwest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The four maps in this article highlight many of the demographic issues that are currently impacting Europe.  See also this article showing where in Europe populations are declining and where they are growing.  

TagsEurope, mapdeclining populations, population, demographic transition model, map archives

Sally Egan's curator insight, November 23, 2015 6:42 PM

These contemporary maps help undetrstand the changing global population distribution.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:53 PM

The two maps that received my attention the most was 'No Work for the Young' and "Big City Drain.' It bothers me to read that the young population of European citizens is out of work, even the cities that do well. Stockholm, a well off country has a you unemployment rate of 30 percent, and Sheffield is 35 percent, that is huge! As for Big City Drain, although Europe's cities are growing, it is because of immigrants from other countries and migrants from that country moving to another part, just to find better work. Having immigrants does not help a particular countries population. Also the fact that since big cities are more expensive, people will leave the big cities such as London and Paris to find cheaper means of living. 

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:01 AM

Population shifts are an important part of determining migrating trends of a population. Are they going to more urban areas? Are they going to suburban areas?  These maps can help understand the questions regarding where the higher population trends are and what countries are seeing a drop in their population to people moving to new places and creating new lives.

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Declining Populations

Declining Populations | Geography Education |

"All over the continent, potential parents have shown reluctance to have more babies. Hence, governments and advocacy groups are becoming increasingly creative about getting their citizens to make babies."

Tag: Europe, declining populations, population, demographic transition model.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:18 PM

This is very important for these countries because people are getting older and eventually to keep the country economically, politically, population, socially and most important culturally stable the population needs to rise by birth rates even though it can still rise by immigrations but it would eventually lose its true culture.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:32 PM

After reading such an article, I could not understand why someone would not want to have children, especially with the incentives offered by the governments. Clearly it seems as if Denmark is the most concerned because they take up three out of five of the slots for how Europe is trying to convince its citizens to make more babies. In general, the incentives seem to be very good, good enough for someone to want to have children. In Sweden you get 480 days out of work plus 80% of your previous salary, Denmark says if Danes were successful in conceiving a child while being on a vacation organized by the company, they were eligible to win three years of free diapers and a trip abroad and France pays families monthly allowances to their children who are younger than 20, plus discounts. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 3:01 PM

the fact that these campaigns are necessary in this age where migrants are flooding Europe and the birth rate is declining. its amazing that this is necessary, but with the birthrate declining the only other home to insure their economic system continues to function is to get the migrants working.

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Is it all over for Greece in the EU?

Robert Peston crunches the numbers as finance ministers meet for vital loan talks.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This audio clip shows how the Greek economic crisis is an issue on the national, regional, and global scales.  This BBC video and article also provide some nice context, asking the question, what would happen in Greece quits the Euro? 

Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, economic, podcast

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 28, 2015 6:50 PM

If Greece decides to no longer be a part of the United Nations (UN), this will ultimately have a significant impact on Europe’s Union economy. The impact will affect not only Greece as country but also to all members of the UN. In addition to this enormous problem, it will be hard to keep together all countries if Greece goes because as we know certain countries as a Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France are also facing economic issues. Success depends largely on UN giving consent for the members of the organization. The downfall in this disagreement will weaken the economies of the European Union as a whole. On the other hand, cheap currency will create new opportunities and be beneficial for tourists.

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Italy is a 'dying country' says minister as birth rate plummets

Italy is a 'dying country' says minister as birth rate plummets | Geography Education |
New figures show the lowest total number of births since the formation of the modern Italian state

Fewer babies were born in Italy in 2014 than in any other year since the modern Italian state was formed in 1861, new data show, highlighting the demographic challenge faced by the country’s chronically sluggish economy.  National statistics office ISTAT said on Thursday the number of live births last year was 509,000, or 5,000 fewer than in 2013, rounding off half a century of decline.  The number of babies born to both natives and foreigners living in Italy dropped as immigration, which used to support the overall birth rate, tumbled to its lowest level for five years.

TagItalyEurope, declining populations, population, demographic transition model.

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:00 PM

Unit II: Population and Migration


As Italy becomes a highly developed country, it begins to experience a large population decline. Fertility rates are negative and continue to decline, and mortality rates are dropping as well. People are not having large families, and all of these factors contribute to the rapidly declining population of Italy. The prime minister of Italy hopes to simulate an economic and cultural recharge in hopes that this will help encourage people to make more babies so that the population does not continue to decline at this rate.


This relates to the demographic transition model, as Italy is in the last stage of it. Once countries are developed, fertility rates begin to slow as mortality rates continue to decline, causing a decline in the total overall population. This is clearly exemplified through this story about Italy. 

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:01 PM

The low birth rate in Italy is causing the country to think that its dying because there aren't enough new-born to replace the ones that passed away. As the article state, it mainly in the south where the economy is very poor and the average family is not making as much money as they should to support more children. This might lead people to migrate to other places  to find opportunities for their future generations. If Italy could find a way distribute wealth evenly across the countries they might be able to find a better result in birth rate. This is easier said than done however. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 3:44 PM

its fascinating that there may no longer be such a term as Italian outside of history books in fifty years. the low birth rate in European countries is a major concern, especially as the economies in those same countries start to suffer.

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38 maps that explain Europe

38 maps that explain Europe | Geography Education |
Europe, as both a place and a concept, has changed dramatically in its centuries of history.

Tags: Europe, map.

Padriag John-David Mahoney's curator insight, February 19, 2015 3:17 PM

Despite the number of maps and figures, this is a really nice, condensed  broad stroke  of European history and politics, geography, and some economies. It's  also, for me, very entertaining.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 26, 2015 7:49 PM

Europe was once the most war torn nation, but is now known for its peace. This article’s introduction says that Europe has relative great prosperity but at the same time deep economic turmoil. I guess like everywhere else. This is a collection of 38 maps that show Europe in different stages of development to give the reader a better understanding. The first maps shows the countries that make up the EU. NATO’s growth is show in the second map from 1949 to 2009. Some maps show the unemployment rates, while others show who in Europe uses the Euro. Mine home country of Italy is shown in the lowest category of unemployment in the southern region. Other maps illustrate the histories of Europe starting in 117. AD. I think that this collection of maps is awesome for gathering knowledge on Europe. It sure is teaching me a lot.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 6, 2015 7:55 PM

At first this was overwhelming to digest.  But then I found it amazing in the fact that Europe could be explained in 38 maps!  The break down was very interesting.  I found it funny to see the breakdown of the richest in Europe.  This being based on finance, businesses, and real estate.  Nutella is definitely one of my favorites, but I had no clue the company was worth $27 billion.  

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Geography of Europe Games

Geography of Europe Games | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

Toporopa is compilation of different games and app for secondary students to review their geographic knowledge of geography, and learn new concepts in a fun and entertaining way.  It does reinforce the 'encyclopedic' view of geography education, but the games are well-crafted and available in most of the major languages of the European Union.  See a Spanish-language review of the site here.   

Tags: Europe, regions, trivia, games.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 5:49 PM

An absolutely great and fun way to learn and explore different geographic locations.  Anytime learning can be made fun or turned into a game is always a win-win.  I found myself screwing around with these mini games and before I knew it, 45 minutes had passed, and I was not as good at Geography as I thought I was.  I will be back to play/learn more!

Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 2015 6:59 PM

This is an interesting way to learn geography in a more interactive way. This link provides many different games that allow you to not only play a game but learn while you do it! These games can test capitals, rivers, monarchies, countries, regions, peninsulas, battles, etc. All of these relate to Europe and can provide different learning techniques for anyone who is interested in them.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:05 PM

This Toporopa is a great interaction games for people who are interested in geography. Europe has a rich history dates back to colonial times and there are many interesting facts that a lot of people does not know about it. It is fun and entertaining way to train your brain and a great review to see what you know about the world.

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Scandinavian Energy Usage

Scandinavian Energy Usage | Geography Education |

Which countries consume the most electricity per person? You might guess the United States would top the World Bank’s list, but the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden are actually at or near the top. Icelanders consume an average of 52,374 kilowatt hours per person per year, Norwegians 23,174 kilowatt hours, Finns 15,738 kilowatt hours, and Swedes 14,030 kilowatt hours. Americans are not far behind, with an average consumption of 13,246 kilowatt hours per person. The Japanese consume 7,848 kilowatt hours.

This image is part of a global composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite in 2012. The nighttime view of Earth was made possible by the “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. VIIRS detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, wildfires, and gas flares. The city lights of several major Nordic cities are visible in the imagery, including Stockholm, Sweden (population 905,184); Oslo, Norway (634,463); Helsinki, Finland (614,074), and Reykjavik, Iceland (121,490).

Tags: Europeenergyremote sensing, development, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Norway.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 5:59 PM

It is not surprising to me that these countries, or any country that resides in a high latitude area, have high usage of electricity.  The combination of extreme cold temperatures and times of meager amounts of daylight equal high uses of energy.  High populations of these areas tend to be around the coast as well, so these areas have to work extra hard to keep people warm, fed, etc.  If people were more spread out, the usage might not be as high. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 2015 7:17 PM

This articles discusses which countries use the most electricity and believe it or not, the Nordic countries are at the top of the list. It shows two satellite images in the nighttime for you to get a better visual as to which areas of these countries use the most electricity. There are multiple factors that go into these countries consuming this much energy. One factor that is interesting is the high demand for electricity because of the long winters in these countries. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 9:34 AM

These images are really interesting and expose just how much electricity the Scandinavian countries actually use. It is surprising to think of these nations as large energy consumers because of their general reputation as progressive, clean, and liberal places. This brief article is an excellent example of how maps and satellite images can be misleading, though. As opposed to places like the U.S. or China, energy consumption in the Scandinavian countries actually produces only small amounts of greenhouse gases and is based on renewable energy sources. 


This shows an interesting and not immediately apparent geographic distinction between the Scandinavian countries and places such as China and the U.S. Chinese and United States energy consumption is enormous because of those countries' ability and desire to produce large amounts of goods quickly. Household energy use is also high because of the widespread use of electronics such as televisions, computers, and appliances. The Scandinavian countries, on the other hand, have a need for increased energy use because of their geographic location: long, dark winters mean an increased need for electricity and for longer periods. Also, Scandinavia is able to produce energy at lower costs due to its use of renewable energy sources. So though those countries may consume much more energy than their non-Scandinavian counterparts, they are doing so responsibly and for a reason. 

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Scottish Independence: New flag for UK?

Scottish Independence: New flag for UK? | Geography Education |
Members of the Flag Institute have created designs for what the Union Flag could look like in the event of independence
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've already posted various links this week on Scottish independence and what it might mean, but I think these two are also worth considering.  Flags are the great icons of state identity, and a UK without Scotland might reconsider it iconography.  This links to an article from the Telegraph and a photogallery with 12 'candidate flags' for a UK that does not include Scotland.  Why might some resist the idea of creating a new national symbol?

Tags: devolutionhistorical, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, UK.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:03 PM

The UK flag is known for representing a union between England and Scotland. It's known as the "Union Jack." The white on the UK flag represents peace peace and honesty and the blue represents loyalty and truth. It's a shame that those two colors have to change to Black and Yellow which I don't know what those colors would represent. If you put a Scottish flag with a UK flag, you won't find any yellow or black so I believe that Scotland is trying to exclude England and Scotland's alike colors such as blue and white and try to create a stronger equal union with England.

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The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa

The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa | Geography Education |
The mythical holiday beast is once again on the prowl, but beware, he's making his way across the Atlantic
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: So what kind of cultural diffusion is this?  Expansion diffusion, contagious diffusion, stimulus diffusion or hierarchical diffusion?  Why so?


Is this more as a pop culture phenomenon or a revitalization of a folk cultural tradition?  How come?


Tags: religion, Europeculture, historical.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:35 AM

Very interesting opposite of Saint Nick that came from a lore displaying Satan figure. I've never heard of this Krampus character but from the origins of it, the character makes it feel very mysterious and give a little spookiness to the holidays. In addition, it gives refugees the chance to explore European culture as a way to adapt to different culture. 

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 4:29 PM

With new movies always coming out, its nice to hear films that are based on true stories or myths come to the theaters. Krampus is a movie that came out recently and is based on a myth that originated in Austria. This is scary tail of a beastly creature coming out Christmas and deals with the bad kids. Krampus is known to beat bad kids with birch branches or to be taken to his lair to be eaten or tortured. An interesting myth, people always look at Christmas as a good time with family.

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Is it time to scrap "Eastern Europe"?

"Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging "

Seth Dixon's insight:

What places belong in a region together?  What are the boundaries of that region?  How has this region changed over time?  Regional classification is inherently an exercise that relies on our geographic knowledge and requires some spatial thinking.  Each semester I have students divide the United States into the regions that explain how they conceptualize the different parts of the country.  This 2 minute video is a great example that argues that the regional category of Eastern Europe is less meaningful today mainly because of the changing political and economic geography that is blurring the regional borders of Europe.   

TagsEurope, regions.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:15 PM

I don't know what else you'd want to call the region. Western Asia? Western Russia? I understand that the culture isn't particularly what one would think of when they think "Europe". Regions are like nicknames, you don't get to pick your own (unless you're Howard Stern).

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:53 AM

It's true the term Eastern Europe is very outdated because borders are constantly changing. Also different ethnic groups and geographic differences that make up the region divide the west and east. However, some countries such as Greece wants to be more Europe and the countries surrounding it are not really "western". So by labeling countries by fixed region is not very accurate in terms of where they are located on the map.

Anneliese Sjogren's curator insight, December 10, 2015 9:25 PM

I have never really thought about Eastern Europe before this video. I don't really know that much about the countries there besides that they are ex-communist.  I think that this video is interesting, and makes a good argument about generalizing an area because of its past.

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The Geographically Uneven Coverage of Wikipedia

The Geographically Uneven Coverage of Wikipedia | Geography Education |
This map points out the highly uneven spatial distribution of (geotagged) Wikipedia articles in 44 language versions of the encyclopaedia. Slightly more than half of the global total of 3,336,473 articles are about places, events and people inside the red circle on the map, occupying only about 2.5% of the world’s land area.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Crowdsourcing is a powerful way to leverage modern digital sharing capabilities, but it inherently going to lead to inequities in the reporting coverage.  Why are there so many geo-tagged Wikipedia articles in Europe and not as many elsewhere?  What factors account for these discrepancies? 

Tags: visualizationsocial media, mapping, culturetechnology, popular culture, Europe.

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 17, 2015 9:36 AM
The Geographically Uneven Coverage of Wikipedia
David lyon's curator insight, September 23, 2015 5:00 PM
A reflection of language diversity in Europe or a Eurocentric Wikipedia?
Chris Costa's curator insight, October 7, 2015 2:56 PM

Talk about Eurocentrism. I'm a huge fan of Wikipedia for its value as an informal source of information; if I need to learn about a topic I am not familiar with, Wikipedia is a great place to get a preliminary idea of what I am learning about. It's disappointing to see the distribution of information on the site is so skewed, considering that there are so many other regions of the world with long, rich histories, than just those encompassed within the circle shown in the map. I feel like that is symptomatic of a number of issues currently plaguing western academic circles- we tend to not view the rest of the world as being important, which is not only untrue, it's both insulting and ignorant. I hope this disparity is addressed and corrected over the course of the next couple of years.

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The threat to France’s Jews

The threat to France’s Jews | Geography Education |
Official figures indicate that over the last two decades the number of antisemitic acts has tripled. Between January and July 2014 official figures show that there were 527 violent antisemitic acts in France as opposed to 276 for the same period in 2013. Meanwhile half of all racist attacks in France take Jews as their target, even though they number less than 1% of the population.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This great, but sobering article was written in January 2015, and unfortunately, the situation has not improved.  There is a lot of demographic changes and migration happening in the Western World right now, and this is but one component to larger forces reshaping the Europe.  Today many in the French Jewish community are now asking the uncomfortable question: is it time to leave France for good?  Antisemitism is not a thing of the past relegated to the World War II chapter of our history textbooks; many French Jewish families were originally from North Africa before they fled in the 1950s and 60s.  Now, France is Israel's largest source of migrants and Europe as a whole has a rapidly declining Jewish population (UPDATE: here is a video showing the French Prime Minister vowing to stop the rise of anti-Semitism in in France).    


Tags: Judaism, religion, Europe, migration, Israel,  France, racism, conflict.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 2:44 PM

It's saddening to see the persistence of such antiquated hatred in the 21st century; for a self-proclaimed age of enlightenment, we continue to act very ignorantly. France has long since prided itself on the ideas of equality and freedom that it put forward to the world during their tumultuous revolution, but that is not being reflected in both its treatment of Muslims and, particularly, its Jewish minority. The fact that 1% of the nation's population accounts for over half of its racist attacks is a jaw-dropping statistic, and indictment of a lack of tolerance as a whole in French society. I often read of the frustration of French Muslims- many of whom are of Algerian descent- who feel ostracized in the nation they call home. A Franco-muslim soccer player, Karim Benzema, summed up this sentiment when he said, "When I am playing well, I am French. When I'm playing poorly, I'm "just" a Muslim." I must imagine that the Jewish population feels much the same way; to feel such open discrimination must make one feel like an outsider in your own home. I hope that the current French Prime Minister, who has said that they plan to take a much firmer stand against this anti-semitism, stays true to their word and takes the necessary measures to insure the safety of ALL French citizens.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:18 AM

The mass migration of Jews from Europe is an underreported story in the United States. Many people wrongly assume that Anti-Semitism  ended when the allies emerged victorious over Hitler and his Third Reich. However, the recent rash of religiously motivated attacks against Jews is demonstrating that the historical strand of Anti-Semitism still exists in Europe.  The number of attacks on Jews in France over the past few years is staggering and shocking. The people of France should feel ashamed that such acts are occurring in a nation that prides itself on the rights of man. The problem is much broader than just the tragic events in France. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in many European nations. I would shutter to think that the Western World is entering another period of violence and hatred directed and aimed at the Jewish community. Europe must act fast, or we may end up with an entire continent without a Jewish population.

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Why is EU free movement so important?

Why is EU free movement so important? | Geography Education |

Where did the idea of free movement of people come from? The precursor to the EU was formed as European leaders came together in the wake of the Second World War, wanting to prevent another catastrophic war. The idea was that allowing people to move across the continent - from countries where there were no jobs to countries where there were labour shortages - would not only boost European growth, but would help prevent war by getting people to mix more across borders.

"The founding fathers of the European Community wanted it to be a construct that also had a political integration and for that you needed people to move because the minute people crossed boundaries and borders, you had deeper integration… So it was both a social as well as an economic aim.

Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, mobility, political, statesmigration.

Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, August 15, 2015 11:39 AM
A great read
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:57 AM

Immigration is a major source of tension within Europe. The influx of immigrants into Europe has led to a nativist backlash in many nations. The free movement of people is a bedrock principle of the European Union. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the leaders of Europe hoped that the open borders policy would  prevent another costly war by allowing people to move to were there were jobs were located. The mixing of cultures would also prevent war. People would develop an understanding of other cultures, which would make the possibility of war more remote. The leaders did not account for the strong nativist strand that often runs through many nations. The UK is threating to withdraw from the EU over this immigration issue. While immigration on the United States gets much of the attention, a more serous crises is actually occurring in Europe.

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Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves

Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves | Geography Education |
Greece is losing professionals as they flee for more stable employment elsewhere, and the health care sector has been particularly hard hit.

Tags: Greece, Europemigration, supranationalism, currency, economic.

cantatapledge's comment, July 3, 2015 6:34 AM
Thats brilliant
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:45 AM

The economic troubles in Greece have dominated the headlines in Europe and the United States over the past few years. One major consequence of the continuing economic struggle is the fleeing of talented individuals from the nation of Greece. One of the hardest hit sectors in the Greek economy, is the heath care sector. Trained medical professionals are fleeing Greece in droves for better economic opportunities  elsewhere. The consequences of this mass migration from Greece can not be overstated. A nation needs talented people in order to survive. The loss of talented professionals sends a bad message to the rest of the country. The message sent to the people is basically, our nation is no longer viable enough to keep our most talented people living here.  This trend will likely continue as the Greek government has yet to come up with a viable solution to their debt crises.

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Redrawing the map of Europe

"Fantasy cartography: An animated redrawing of the map of Europe.
Imagine a world in which countries could move as easily as people. A suggestion for a rearranged Europe."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What makes a region a region?  What criteria is being used?   This video could be used to ask questions on how they would create regions.  Which places will get split apart and which places will be lumped together? 

Tags: regions, Europe.

Bella Reagan's curator insight, March 24, 2015 2:01 AM

Unit 1


This video shows countries being able to move easily in order for each countries benefit. Many countries are moved away from their enemies or other feared countries. Also in this idealistic video countries that are landlocked are able to move to places with easier access to water. It also includes moving countries and territories to be near countries that would work well together.


This personifies countries as moving as they please, literally. I found this a little funny and pretty interesting to see what countries would do if they could daily move. It really reveals the importance of location and geography for countries in that countries are stuck where they are for the most part ad can't just move away from their enemies of conditions. 

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 25, 2015 9:46 AM

unit 1

Aleena Reyes's curator insight, May 6, 2015 11:53 PM

A very interesting and fun short video. It raises a lot of questions has to how this could be done (if it could) and how one creates borders and regions.

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Tourism in Belfast, Ireland

"Belfast has been coming into its own in the last few years, developing a vibrant restaurant scene, award-winning architecture and a new cosmopolitanism."

TagsIreland, culture, architecture, tourism, Europe.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Have you ever wondered why Northern Ireland a part of the U.K.?  Read this article from the Economist

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The continuing decline of Europe’s Jewish population

The continuing decline of Europe’s Jewish population | Geography Education |
The Jewish population in Europe has dropped significantly over the last several decades – most dramatically in Eastern Europe and the countries that make up the former Soviet Union.

It’s been seven decades since the end of the Holocaust, an event that decimated the Jewish population in Europe. In the years since then, the number of European Jews has continued to decline for a variety of reasons. And now, concerns over renewed anti-Semitism on the continent have prompted Jewish leaders to talk of a new “exodus” from the region.

There are still more than a million Jews living in Europe, according to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates. But that number has dropped significantly over the last several decades – most dramatically in Eastern Europe and the countries that make up the former Soviet Union, according to historical research by Sergio DellaPergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Tags: Judaism, religion, Europe.

Aleena Reyes's curator insight, May 7, 2015 12:00 AM

It comes as no surprise to me that the Jewish population would drop in Eastern and Western Europe. Anti-Semitic feelings are deeply embedded in Europe and do not see them going away soon, especially since it is currently rising.

The Planetary Archives Digital University | San Francisco California's curator insight, May 7, 2015 12:18 PM

"Europeans" have been trying to get the Jews out of Europe since the Crusades. The Holocaust was the perfect excuse. The resulting chaos in Palestine is a direct result of Jews being forced out of Europe.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:13 AM

Granted the Holocaust was nearly 80 years ago, much of the Jewish population have grown roots in countries that were not affected by the way Hitler persecuted the Jewish religion. The Eastern part of Europe is seeing the largest decline because that part of Europe saw the worst of the persecution of Jews.

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Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale

Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale | Geography Education |
Hundreds of churches around Europe have closed or are threatened by plunging membership, posing a question for communities: What to do with the once-holy, now-empty buildings?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Europe, the most developed region in the world, is also the most secular region today.  During colonial times, Europeans were spreading Christianity across the globe, but now Christianity is becoming more a part of Europe's historical landscape.  Secularization can be seen as either the cause or the effect of several other European trends such as declining fertility rates.  Today Europe is filled with historic cathedrals, but there is no one to fill them.

Questions to Ponder: What are other signs of secularization on the cultural landscape?  What would you do with a former sacred site (and an architectural treasure) that is can't be maintained?


Tags: culturereligion, Christianity, regions, landscape, Europe.

Chris Plummer's curator insight, February 24, 2015 8:01 AM

Summary- Hundreds of churches around Europe  are being closed and sold to other people. This is due to the lack of membership coming from the people that used to go there. People are turning these churches into various things such as skateparks. I think this is a very disrespectful act, turning a place of worship into a place to destroy. 


Insight- In Unit 3 religion is a big part. From this article, we can ask ourselves why the memberships of churches are declining. Do be just not care anymore? Are people moving away? Although the answer is no stated in this article, I think people there are just not as devoted to church as they used to be.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 26, 2015 8:09 PM

Europe’s Empty churches going on sale is not upsetting to me, unless they are being used as skateboard parks. The main reason to the church’s closings are a rise in secular beliefs. With less people attending and making tributes to the churches they are given no choice but to shut down. These are buildings of great archaic integrity and I think that they should be sold to museums or to state governments as holy sites or something to that effect. These buildings should be preserved because they are a giant standing living history of this world. But as of now skate ramps and parks occupy these churches and may be damaging them. 

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 9:25 PM

Empty buildings now turned into just churches used for fun, or by the picture skateboarding. Europe is always known as the power house especially during their colonial period, when they colonized Africa and brought some of their religious beliefs towards the Africans. Europe is filled with big catholic traditions tracing back to the past, but now with this going on its a very sad state seeing something so significant in history in the European community go to waste..

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The price of passage

The price of passage | Geography Education |
Almost 35,000 people have reached the shores of Italy and Malta in 2013 and two-thirds have filed for asylum.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive map/infographic is a wealth of information about migration to Europe. 

TagsEurope, migration, economic, labor, infographic

Jennifer Lopez's curator insight, November 7, 2014 10:51 AM

This passage was about the immigration that are coming into Europe. It helped me learn how they get to there destination and the struggles they go through. This scoop also showed me thew amount of money a immigrant would have to spend in or for them to get to their destination. By it showing us statistics i can get a better understanding. Also, the statistics about the amount of immigrants that don't get to even make it to their destination and what they can and cannot bring with them.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 5, 2014 1:41 PM

Due to the vast distances and irregular manner of transportation to Europe, prices are very high with transport between northern Africa and southern Europe often costing more than 1000 dollars. Even traveling from Greece to Italy can cost up to 6000 dollars. Despite the high price to "guarantee access", the journey is still dangerous with 500 deaths over a two month period in 2013. This interactive shows that even though 35,000 seems like a lot of people to arrive in Europe in 2013, it is a very long, difficult, and expensive journey to get there.

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Scottish Independence

"Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK. There are solid arguments on both sides."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Admittedly, this video is filled with stereotypes, bad words and a strong political bias all delivered in John Oliver's trademark style--it's also filled with incorrect statements which I hope most people can recognize as humor, but it captures college students' attention.  If, however, you are looking for a more insightful piece, I recommend Jeffrey Sach's article titled "The Price of Scottish Independence," or this summary of the 9 issues that would confront an independent Scotland.  Independence in Europe today doesn't mean what it used to, and this vote will be fascinating regardless of the outcome.    

Tags: devolution, supranationalism, politicalEurope, UK.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:21 PM

I support Scotland independence! Mother England should understand the current Scotland need more freedom of speech and decisions. This a good example of a peacefully claim of independence, instead of the bloody war (remember England?). The video... Is too funny to take it seriously. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 27, 2015 7:34 AM

Scotland is vying for its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming free from London and its own Country. Here john Oliver analyzes the issue and provides a decent background history while stabbing lots of jokes and puns into his commentary. So basically England and Scotland got into an arranged marriage as Oliver phrased it, forming the United Kingdom some 300 years ago. Oliver goes on to say Scotland got the bad end of the philosophical relationship, setting up reasons for Scotland ambition to possibly leave. For the last 2 ½ years there has been a campaign for this independence, where Scotts feel they can better run the country they live in. Scotland is a liberal country ran by the conservative country England. These are the reasons that set up this split.   

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 9:27 PM

This video is hilarious and John Oliver pokes fun at the Scottish, the little brother trying to lobby themselves for independence. Great video to watch hilarious, and also informative at the same time.