Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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It's a Matter of Perspective

"There's a flip side to everything," the saying goes, and in 2 minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect.

Seth Dixon's insight:
In this ultra-short TED talk, Derek Sivers show that what is considered true is often dependent on your perspective, the context, and how it is situated within a particular paradigm.  This is a mind-blowing video because it exposed our framework (which might go unquestioned as universal) to be but one of many ways in which to organize the world and the information within it.  His first example is the Japanese address system (I prefer to show this version of the same material since the visuals are better).  I also enjoy showing this clip together to hammer home the point that our perspective shapes our view of reality.  
 
Tags: Japan, perspective, TED. 
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Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Conflict between Native American protesters and private security personnel over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has turned violent. What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter

What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump, explains his view of immigration and assimilation to the US.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm NOT trying to use this platform to advance any partisan political agenda, but I think this brings up some very interesting narratives that are used when discussing migration and culture, which becomes a political 'hot-button' topic.  There is often cultural pressure on the migrant to assimilate into the host culture (or at least acculturate to a certain degree).  This larger national discussion centers on whether cultural assimilation should be expected of migrants and how much cultural diffusion the host culture will be receiving from the migrants.

 

Questions to Ponder: How are cultural norms placed on migrants?  What are some recent examples of migrants not wanting to assimilate that have led to political tension?    

 

Tags: culture migration, political.

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Why Italy’s 'Fertility Day' is backfiring

Why Italy’s 'Fertility Day' is backfiring | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Facing a low fertility rate (1.4), Italy is holding its first 'Fertility Day' on Sept. 22, which will emphasize 'the beauty of motherhood and fatherhood' and host roundtable discussions on fertility and reproductive health. That may seem inoffensive, but the country’s health department is trying to raise awareness with an ad campaign that’s striking many as misguided and, worse, sexist and alarmist."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This pro-natalist campaign designed by the health ministry has received near universal criticism (in an attempt to see other perspectives, I searched for a more positive or even neutral article on the topic and came up empty-handed).  Italy's Prime Minister openly scoffed at the premise of the campaign, and many pundits argue that it shames and pressures women into thinking about personal choices of childbearing as if they were communal responsibilities.  Unlike the infamous 'Do it For Denmark' advertisements that were filled with playful innuendos, or Singapore's 'Maybe Baby' which highlights the joys of parenthood, this one has more overtones of duty and plays on fear more than those other pro-natalist campaigns.      

 

Tags:  ItalyEurope, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

 

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 5, 7:28 AM
Preliminary - population
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Why I make cartograms with second graders

Why I make cartograms with second graders | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"There are few sights more heartening than that of an elementary school whose classrooms and hallways are decorated with world maps. Yet teachers should be careful to make sure that the standard depiction of the world map is not the only map their students encounter. Otherwise, they run the risk that children will assume 'this is the way the world looks,' rather than the more complicated reality that 'this is one of many ways of representing our world.' One useful antidote to this way of thinking is for students to explore cartograms, which are maps that use the relative area of places to present statistical data.  Please check out my cartogram lesson plan."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love this post because it shows that--adjusting for mathematical proficiency and cartographic skill--just about any group of students can work on projects to work with data and explore various ways of how to represent that data.  

 

Tagseducation, K12geography education, statistics, spatial, mapping. 

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Why the US government wants Americans to eat more cheese

Why the US government wants Americans to eat more cheese | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The USDA said today that it will buy $20 million worth of cheese to donate to food banks and pantries in an effort to help America's struggling dairy producers.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Do politics, economics, and government policies help to shape agriculture patterns?  Absolutely.  This is an interesting, current example that shows how Chinese and Russian policies are impacting American dairy producers, and how the U.S. government is stepping in. 

 

Questions to Ponder:  Should the U.S. government protect businesses that are in dire straits?  What would happen if the government did not offer agricultural subsidies/bailouts?  What will happen (or not happen) because of these subsidies/bailouts?  Any way you slice it, 11 million tons is a lot of cheddar.     

 

Tags: agriculture, food production, economicfood, agribusiness,

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Olympic Races, in Your Neighborhood

Olympic Races, in Your Neighborhood | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What would Olympic races look like if they took place near you? Enter your address below to find out, or keep clicking the green button to explore races that begin in where you live."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I thought I was done with the Olympics, but this just sucked me right back in...in the most geographically relevant way possible.  Scale and distance are important geographic concepts and realizing JUST HOW FAST these Olympians are on the TV can be deceptive when they are paired up with other great Olympians.  Seeing how far in your own neighborhood you would have to go to beat the 400m champion--or the 5000m.  Since the United States doesn't use the metric system, this map is a good way to contextualize these measurements and try to run the race in your own backyard.  Let the Backyard Games begin!!

 

Tags: mappingfunscaledistance, sport, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.  

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ringacrux's comment, August 27, 1:14 AM
Remarkable...!!
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Map Men: teaching geography through comedy

Map Men: teaching geography through comedy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Mark Cooper-Jones and Jay Foreman, the Map Men, tap into a rich vein of geographical quirks to teach through comedy
Seth Dixon's insight:

Why am I just now finding out about this resource?!?  This new YouTube channel is full of promise for geography teachers...fun, quirky, full of interesting trivia, but most importantly, these videos are rooted in geographic concepts. 

 

Tags: mappingfun, videoAPHG, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Catherine Smyth's curator insight, August 28, 8:11 PM

Feeling lost teaching geography? Navigate your way through the new concepts, skills and content in the new Australian Curriculum and K-6 syllabus by developing geographical understanding.

Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, August 29, 12:43 PM
Holy heck these guys are good! I'd like to see more of these Map Men videos. I'm sure at least some of my 8th graders can appreciate some British wit.
Christopher L. Story's curator insight, August 29, 9:24 PM
Anything to help people know where the Caspian sea resides...or was that Uzbekistan?
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Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

"President Barack Obama designated tens of thousands of acres of Maine forest as a national monument on Wednesday, one day before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.  The area, known as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, spans 87,500 acres of the state’s stunning northern woods. The area is named for Mount Katahdin, which is Maine’s highest mountain and is located within the adjacent Baxter State Park."

 

Tags: conservation, physical, biogeography, environment.

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Fertility Rates-Differences Within Countries

"An important aspect about country level data of fertility to keep in mind is that there can be considerable heterogeneity within countries, which are hidden in the mean fertility which were discussed in this entry. The mean Total Fertility Rate for India in 2010 was 2.8 (UN Data): But this average hides the fact that the fertility in many Southern Indian regions was below 1.5 (which is similar to the mean fertility in many European countries), while the fertility in Northern India was still higher than 5 children per woman (which is as high as the mean of the African countries with the highest fertility)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a stunning example of uneven development and regional differences within countries.  Too often we discuss countries as if the situation inside the borders of one country is the same throughout it, even if the geographic contexts can be wildly different. 

 

Questions to Ponder: Why are the fertility rates in so different in northern and southern India?  How does this regional imbalance impact the country?  What are other examples of major differences within a country? 

 

Tags: regions, population, demographic transition model, declining populationmodelsunit 2 population, India, South Asia. 

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Louisiana in Tough Shape

Louisiana in Tough Shape | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Unlike the many maps we have seen that show what Florida, Boston, or some other coastal location would look like with higher sea levels, the figure above compares the iconic outline of Louisiana with the present-day outline of its dry land. An important caveat is that some of the removed areas are wetlands, meaning they are not under water all the time, but those lands are not available for most human uses (aside from fishing), so this outline warrants attention.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Last month I was in New Orleans, Louisiana and I'm so disheartened to know that thousands have their homes under water.  As stated in this article, "the boot is at best an inaccurate approximation of Louisiana’s true shape and, at worst, an irresponsible lie."  To explore the issue yourself, this gorgeous interactive map pulls together some high quality source materials on a wide range of issues to look at this environmental issues of this region in a holistic manner.

 

Tags: environmentweather and climatecoastal, water, disasters

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The rise of the Asian megacity (and why 'metacities' are the next big thing)

The rise of the Asian megacity (and why 'metacities' are the next big thing) | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Asia's rapid urbanisation is changing the very shape and nature of what we think of as a city.  It's not just the rapid increase in their numbers or their sheer size that makes these megacities fascinating. They look, feel and behave differently, too."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The term megacity (a city with a population greater than 10 million) has been around for a while and there wasn't much linguistic need to describe something bigger.  Today, most megacities are more like Lagos and Mumbai, places of extreme wealth asymmetries than the global cities of New York City and London.  Some are now using the term metacity to describe cities with populations of 20 million.  Asian metacities are a good place to start thinking about the largest urban regions that are increasingly dominating economic, political and cultural affairs.      

 

Tags: urbanmegacitiesEast Asia.

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Do You Know The Outline of These Countries?

Do You Know The Outline of These Countries? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you spot the real outline from the fake?..
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just for fun...The borders/coastlines of these 14 countries are slightly photoshopped in one of the two images, and you have to remember from your mental maps which one is correct.  And yes, of course I got a 14. 

 

Tagsmapping, trivia, funborders, cartography.

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Jamie Strickland's comment, August 19, 10:37 AM
Love this --- will try with my classes when I talk about cognitive images and our mental maps!
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Death Valley's Roving Rocks

Death Valley,California - Giant boulders in the desert look as though their moving all on their own! But could weird weather be behind these roving rocks
Seth Dixon's insight:

Since the video above was created, the mystery has been solved.  On very rare occasions, when it rains in the region, water will accumulate in the playa (discovermagazine.com).  If the wind is powerful and consistent enough, the wind will push the panels of ice against these rocks and over time, the ice floes will push these rocks, leaving behind distinctive trails (latimes.com). This perfect combination of water, wind, ice and heat creates a remarkable signature on the landscape (livescience.com).  The video in this article (weather.com) nicely explains how the non-aerodynamic rocks of Death Valley's Racetrack Playa move, leaving behind their trail in the hot desert.  Numerous attempts using GPS receivers (NatGeo.com) and good ol' fashioned observations have been made, but observing ice in Death Valley is so rare that no one had ever seen it until now (phys.org).  

 

Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, desertlandscape.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 8, 12:06 AM

Engage students in this topic with this mysterious event

 

Geoworld 7 NSW

Chapter 2 Restless Earth: Geomorphic processes

2.8 Rocks and sliding (page 70-71

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All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It.

All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It. | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Google rolled out its new Maps design...from a navigational tool to a commercial interface and offers the clearest proof yet that the geographic web—despite its aspirations to universality—is a deeply subjective entity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Google Maps was updated over the summer, and the updates don't make them more impartial, but that isn't a bad thing.  Google Maps now highlight 'Areas of interest,' which are created with algorithms designed to reveal the “highest concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops.” The algorithms aren't 'objective,' but are fine-tuned by human engineers to reflect what they consider 'Areas of Interests' should look like.  Maps are never as objective as they appear to be, and that can often be a great thing. 

 

Tags: google, mapping, geospatial, cartography, visualization.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, September 6, 9:30 AM
All maps are biased because they are not the territory, but represent our subjective view of the territory; what we include and what we leave out depends on what we deem important, or not. Europe is still oversized in most current maps in relation to the "Third World." What is the new politically correct fad?
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Recovering Intellectual Ancestors

Recovering Intellectual Ancestors | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Andrea Wulf's new book The Invention of Nature reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. Perceiving nature as an interconnected global force, Humboldt discovered similarities between climate zones across the world and predicted human-induced climate change. Wulf traces Humboldt’s influences through the great minds he inspired in revolution, evolution, ecology, conservation, art and literature.  In The Invention of Nature Wulf brings this lost hero to science and the forgotten father of environmentalism back to life."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I was glad to find this biography of Alexander von Humboldt.  He has been described as the last great ancient geographer concerned with understanding an eclectic cosmography as well as the first modern geographer. He is honored far and wide throughout Europe and especially  Latin America for his explorations, but given that people are confused as how to categorize him and classify his contributions, today he is under-appreciated.  Geographers need to reclaim his memory and call his extensive, globetrotting work on a wide range of subjects ‘geography.’  Here are more articles and videos on the man that I feel geographers should publicly champion as their intellectual ancestor the way that biologists point to Darwin.  

 

Tags:  historicalbiogeography, book reviews.

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Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum--it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Rural Africans have less access to high value commodities and converting forests into charcoal is one of the few options (similar to the issue in Haiti).  The short-term economic gain for a few individuals leads to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, poverty, development, economic, labor, Madagascar, erosionAfrica, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities

Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An American used drones to capture the color lines still stark in South African cities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In some respects this isn't surprising, but it is still striking to see how stark the differences are.  One generation of political change does not reverse generations of systemic racism that have had economic, cultural, and political impacts.  Many of the urban planning decisions were based on apartheid, and that historical legacy is still embedded landscape.

 

Tags: South Africa, images, Africarace, ethnicityneighborhood, urban, planning, images, remote sensing.

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doozyfunny's comment, September 1, 12:12 AM
Its useful :)
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The Depths of the Unseen Ocean

The Depths of the Unseen Ocean | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The depths below the ocean’s surface comprise a staggering 95 percent of the Earth’s living space, and much of it is unexplored by humans. To put into perspective just how deep the oceans go, this XKCD comic, (hi-res image).  Most of the ocean doesn’t even see sunlight. Even scientists aren’t familiar with everything that’s down there."

Seth Dixon's insight:

XKCD is a comic strip that deals with many intellectual issues, but it can also be a wealth of quality scientific information.  This infographic on the oceans is staggering.

 

Tags: XKCD, artinfographic, physical, environmentwater.

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ROCAFORT's curator insight, September 1, 3:24 AM
The Depths of the Unseen Ocean
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FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world's longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 

 

TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

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The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet

The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Investment in bicycle infrastructure is a modern and intelligent move. Many cities get this. Many don't.

 

Tags: urbanplace, transportationplanning, urbanism, architecture.

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joellemillery's curator insight, August 28, 5:28 AM
In Munich, bike paths feel overcrowded, for example, there is a need for a new #urbanism #transportation # plan ;-)
malek's comment, September 6, 10:09 AM
@pdeppisch Montreal made it 20 !!
pdeppisch's comment, September 6, 7:23 PM
I have friends, she is Quebecois, and they are in fact doing a bicycle tour of Montréal and surroundings. Toronto, of course, did not. I lived in Montreal from '53 to '86. :)
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Unlocking The National Mall

Unlocking The National Mall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Lisa Benton-Short, author of The National Mall: No Ordinary Public Space talks about the overlooked urban National park sites, getting inspired by her own neighbourhood, and more.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The National Mall has been transformed so much in that last 200 years.  Lisa Benton-Short, in this interview about her book says, "The Mall has been a place where I connect to American history and identity, and our country’s founding principles and ideals. It is place where you can feel the power of the monuments and memorials, the legacy of events, marches and protests. The Mall is an incredibly meaningful place. This book is the result of my intellectual curiosity as a scholar, but also my personal attachment to this place."

 

Tags: historicalspace, monumentsplace, landscape.

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ringacrux's comment, August 27, 1:14 AM
Interesting...!!
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Bangladesh's Hazardous Geography

Bangladesh's Hazardous Geography | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Bangladesh is exposed to threat of hazards resulting from a number of natural disasters and remains classified as one the most vulnerable countries. Majority of the country is affected by cyclone, drought and floods.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Bangladesh is regularly hit with different types of natural disasters. The impact of these natural disasters costs the country millions making it dependent on foreign aid.  Disaster clean-up and relief aid after major floods, droughts, and hurricanes.  

 

Tagsdisasters, environmentBangladeshSouth Asia, development.

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Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio

Ethiopian runner makes protest sign as he crosses line in Rio | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Feyisa Lilesa crosses his arms as he wins a silver medal - a gesture used by his Oromo people at home to protest against the government.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Olympics can bring to interesting cultural and political issues to a larger international audience.  The Oromo people in Ethiopia are off our collective radar, but this marathoner made the world pay attention and start to ask questions about a part of the world that rarely gets global attention.  Some other examples of how you can link students' interest in the Olympics to expand their understanding about the world include:

What was your favorite 'teaching moment' from the Olympics?

Tags:  political, conflict, sport.

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Interactive Climate Map

Interactive Climate Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Obsessed as we are with cartography we in Staridas Geography perceive any aspect of the actual 3D World as a constant opportunity for another pretty map creation!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great interactive map of the world's climate zones. 

 

Tags: ESRIStoryMapedtech, GIS, mapping, cartographyphysical.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 19, 7:47 PM

Great map to discuss global distribution of biomes and links to climate 

Sally Egan's curator insight, August 21, 6:24 PM
Fun way for students to learn about the diverse climates around the world, by selecting a location on the map students are shown the climatic data of the selected place.