Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Opinion: Geography lessons make a world of difference in education

Opinion: Geography lessons make a world of difference in education | Geography Education | Scoop.it
To meet workforce needs, scholarships must be available to support the best and brightest students who choose to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in geography
Seth Dixon's insight:

The authors of this article are from American Geographical Society and discuss the results of a study that indicate that Americans want more geography education in the school systems today.  Often geography gets buried within the social studies curriculum and it is up to the individual teacher to ensure how much geography actually gets taught in the classroom.  This is not a new problem; in a bulletin published by the Bureau of Education in 1922, it was said, "So long as it is assumed that history is all of the social studies the elements of the others will be neglected as they are now."  This article provides good sources to help educators argue for more geographic content in the curriculum at all educational levels.

  

Tags: Geography Education, geo-inspiration.


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Lulu Farah's comment, May 8, 2013 6:31 PM
A good question for the educators of Geography is where is Somaliland? If they know the answer then that is good enough for Somalilanders.
Mary Patrick Schoettinger's curator insight, May 9, 2013 1:26 PM

Many suggest that's those who want more geography education should be satisfied that it is one of the tiers of social studies. But we have seen even social studies be cut to half a year in our elementary schools. How can we build the necessary geographic, civic, economic, and history foundations in such short amount of time? Even now, as we access our news, it daily becomes more apparent how important these studies are.

Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:50 AM

Opinion: Geography lessons make a world of difference in education | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

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Google Maps Engine

Google Maps Engine | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Google Maps Engine makes it easy for you to create beautiful maps, share them with others, and reach your audience no matter where they are. It's built on the same platform that provides Google services to millions of people worldwide, so your users have a consistent and familiar experience wherever they are."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Google has become more and more involved with geospatial technologies and platforms.  This new Maps Engine (still in beta testing) appears to be Google entry into the world of GIS.  Maps Engine is not nearly as robust as ArcGIS Online or even Google Earth and it has many limitations (can't upload a CSV file with more than 100 data points, can't use KML or shapefiles, no archive of ready-made layers, etc). 


It's redeeming value lies in the simplicity of the platform; if all you want to do is draw your own points, lines and polygons on top of a map and be able to get started within 30 seconds, then this is worth exploring.  Those features are incredibly intuitive and user-friendly and I foresee various educational possibilities using this in the classroom, but am still 'test-driving' the platform.      


Tags googleGIS, geospatial, edtech, K12.

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Johani Karonen's curator insight, May 8, 2013 9:08 AM

I love maps! Let's se what this little darling can do.

JoseMªRiveros's comment, May 8, 2013 3:06 PM
useful!
Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:51 AM

Google Maps Engine | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the continuation of the desertification set in motion.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.  Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online (also see this article from GeoCurrents


Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 1:36 AM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 8:30 PM

Here is a question. Do you think perhaps in the future this could happen to lake Mead in Nevada/Arizona? With all the non-stop building and no rain perhaps one day could it run dry or do we have a way to stop it.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:17 AM

Once there is less water in a lake there is less water in the air therefore less rain. The long term consequences is that the fishing industry is destroyed where once upon a time there were 61000 workers and now there are under 2000. The water is more saltier. The lands are now ill suited and unbuildable. Also the people there are prone to health problems.

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Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty?

Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The end to extreme poverty might very well be within reach. But is the bar too low?


The World Bank aims to raise just about everyone on Earth above the $1.25-a-day income threshold. In Zambia, an average person living in such dire poverty might be able to afford, on a given day, two or three plates of cornmeal porridge, a tomato, a mango, a spoonful each of oil and sugar, a bit of chicken or fish, maybe a handful of nuts. But he would have just pocket change to spend on transportation, housing, education and everything else.

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Jacquie Rintoul's comment, June 21, 2013 3:08 AM
I agree with Sarah. While many people think that poverty can be eradicated, the world's economy simply cannot hold up every single country. Even if it was able to, countries would probably get into debt and end up poorer than before.
Hannah Campbell's curator insight, July 21, 2013 3:29 AM

I do not think it is crazy to think we can eridacte poverty, but the world's richest and most developed countries need to support the developing countries. 

JH Tan's curator insight, January 19, 2014 12:52 PM

It is extremely hard to eradicate poverty in the world as most people in the world is still living below the $1.25 a day income.However, if  gorverments from developed countries are willing to support the developing countries,I believe we will be able to hit the target set by the world bank to raise just about everyone on earth above the $1.25 a day income.

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Kent State: Past and Present

Kent State: Past and Present | Geography Education | Scoop.it

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Knox Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer during an anti-war protest at Kent State University.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a poignant image that strikes a chord with me.  History is embedded within place even if the historical events are not memorialized within the landscape.  May 4, 2013 not only marked the anniversary of the Kent State tragedy, it also was the day that the great Wilbur Zelinsky passed away. He was a geographer who analyzed the cultural landscape as well as anyone ever did, and I consider myself fortunate enough to have had conversations with him while I was at Penn State. 

   

Tags: historicalwar, landscape.

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Maegan Anderson's comment, May 7, 2013 5:37 AM
speechless...
Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, May 10, 2013 2:39 PM

Photos like this that juxtapose the original photograph to present day surroundings always grab me.  What an interesting discussion this could be in a history classroom!

Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:52 AM

Kent State: Past and Present | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

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The Names Behind The States

The Names Behind The States | Geography Education | Scoop.it

An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I would dispute the accuracy of some of the alleged linguistic origins of the state names, so take this with a grain of salt (still it's a clever concept for an inforgraphic and shows some interesting patterns).  As with all long infographics on this site, you can "scroll down" on the image by putting the cursor in the top right-hand corner of the image and sliding on the translucent bar.


Tags: language, USA, infographic, toponyms, historical, colonialism.

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Seth Dixon's comment, May 6, 2013 8:21 PM
@Carly, Texas is also inaccurate...
Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:52 AM

The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

Aulde de Barbuat's comment, May 18, 2013 12:08 PM
quite interesting, thanks. Unhappily, the link seems broken..Do you happen to have another one?
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Erosion in Action

News 8 chief photojournalist Kevyn Fowler captured a road collapsing in Freeport, Maine during a storm.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The forces of erosion are usually slow and gradual, wearing away at landforms over the course of years.  This video show the quick and dynamic factor that erosion can be...this is easily the most compelling 3-minute video about a single patch of road that I've ever seen. 

 

Tags: physical, water, disasters, geomorphology, erosion.

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Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:53 AM

Erosion in Action | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

Shelby Porter's curator insight, December 12, 2013 3:23 AM

Normally we see erosion on a piece of land over a long period of time. In this short video, we see what erosion can do to in mere minutes. It is scary to think how much the roads we drive on are eroding right underneath our cars. It is amazing how much the environment around us can change due to the weather. 

megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 5:30 AM
This video is crazy! It shows the erosion of a road during a storm. The water was supposed to run under the road and flow through a large pipe. As you can see after watching the video the road eventually erodes and then the pipe begins to bouy up and down. Later the road is completely deteriorated and the pipe ran down the river with the rest of the road.
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Overseas Quiz

Overseas Quiz | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From the world's largest seas to islands and coastlines, will you sink or swim in this challenging geography quiz? Dive into our selection of sea based trivia now!
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 16 question quiz is a challenging quiz that a great little mental workout to start the day for you trivia buffs who love online games.  Can you get more that 13 correct? 

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Susan Wegmann's curator insight, May 1, 2013 2:15 PM

@social studies

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Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape

Melting Glaciers Transform Alpine Landscape | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Climate change is dramatically altering the Swiss Alps, where hundreds of bodies of water are being created by melting glaciers. Though the lakes can attract tourists and even generate electricity, local residents also fear catastrophic tidal waves.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Earth systems are inherently dynamic; however a change to system such as climate change can upset the system dramatically. 


Tags: climate change, water, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

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Magnus Gustafsson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 9:45 AM

What can we do learn of this? Will send this to my students.

Lorraine Chaffer's comment, July 5, 2013 3:36 AM
Inland water - management
Lorraine Chaffer's comment, July 5, 2013 3:36 AM
Climate change impacts
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Chechnya: 200 years of background in four minutes

Seth Dixon's insight:

I wish I had seen this video from the Washington Post when I was preparing last week's Geography of Chechnya post

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 21, 2015 6:24 PM

Chechnya, why so much has been made about Chechnya, the nationality of the Boston Bombers. Since then much talk about Chechnya. Around 200 years ago Russians came to conquer Chechnya. The entire Chechnya population was shipped to Cyberia by joseph Stalin, now recognized as a genocide. This is where the term send them to Cyberia developed. A second war in 1999 brought even more chaos to Chechnya. This morphed a radical religious feeling in the Chechnya people. It can be seen among attacks on Russia from Chechenia’s terrorists.

 

the new leader has a firm grip on the country and it has become a more silent nation

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:40 PM

Clearly, Chechnya has a very violent past. It is nothing but a place of death and heavy conflict. You can even say it had a genocide going on, when the citizens of Chechnya was sent to Siberia to pretty much be killed off by the extreme cold. It is also important to understand that Chechnya wants to be it's own country. It is sad to hear about this country in such  negative way with all the fighting going on and the fact that the Boston Marathon bombers came from there... Why could we not hear of it in a better way better way? For example, they want to be a country of their own. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 6:47 PM

first off i would like to say that i am pretty sure half of the world did not even know Chechnya existed until the marathon bombing happened. also this stuff is really important to know because it give you background and insight into what these people were thinking and how what goes on on the other side of the world can twist people in such a way that it effects us here at home.

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How to Make an iPhone Case Out of an Old Map

Seth Dixon's insight:

Map lovers wanting to customize your phone cover, this is for you.  Read the full blog post here from maps.com.  


Tags: art, mapping.

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Tony Hall's comment, April 28, 2013 10:50 AM
Nice:)
Tony Hall's curator insight, April 28, 2013 10:50 AM

Something for the GeoGeek in your life:)

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New York's Changing Skyline

New York's Changing Skyline | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love this visualization of New York City's evolving skyline from 1876-2013.  The urban landscape of America's prominent cities has changed dramatically. 


Tags: historical,urbanarchitecture, landscape, NYC.

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Louis Culotta's comment, May 1, 2013 4:32 PM
I wonder if the tallest building in the first picture is the first stage of the Brooklyn Bridge??????
Louis Culotta's curator insight, May 1, 2013 4:35 PM

if you look at the first picture...it looks like the tall building on the water could be the first stage of the Brooklyn Bridge...any suggestions to this?

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This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now

This Is What It's Like to Be a Muslim in Boston Right Now | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an interesting article; place and context mediate cultural interactions.  I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to be a Muslim in the Boston area right now.  This geographer wishes that everyone could feel safe everywhere.    


Tags: terrorism, religion, Boston, Islam.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 20, 2013 8:33 PM

Being from around the area and listening and watching the tv during the boston bombings all I really thought about was how the city and families were effected by the tragic event. However I never really thought about how it impacted muslim people in the area. For people to put a blame on all muslim people is not right. We are not all the same, which means not all muslims are the same. Some muslims have lived their whole lives in the US and for people to catogorize them all as terrorists isn't right. All people should be treated them same way. It is sad to read the article and think that some muslims in Boston walk around in fear of being beat up or killed just because of their culture. The bombings effected an entire city and muslim people people should be able to mourn with the rest of the city. They grew up there just like we did. So what makes them so different from me and you? Not all muslims are killers like the two boys from the bombings. It is really sad to me that they have to live their lives in fear everyday in a place that they call home, just because of their culture. No one deserves to live like that. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for muslim people in Boston. 

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 3:38 PM

Terrorism is a huge problem in our Country today. I'm not trying to racist saying this but I feel like they do it to themselves. Coming into our country and terrorizing our nation thats okay? Yes not every Muslim is a terrorist im not saying that but you never know if they are or not. Since 911 we cant trust anyone, and theres a reason for that. I understand that they should not have to feel any different then the average American but the past is what we all dwell on.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 3:19 PM

Some are saying that racism doesnt exist anymore but it does. Muslims still live in fear that they are being judged everyday because some Americans generalize Muslims with terrorism

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Flags Quiz

Flags Quiz | Geography Education | Scoop.it

MORE Fun With Flags.

 

From symbols and shapes to colours and crests, how familiar are you with the world of flags? Play now and see if you can be the 'star' of this quiz!

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In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements.  The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics."  This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).


TagsSaudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 8:24 PM

I was happy to see an article like this. It's about time that these women are being given equal opportunities. Although they have a long way to go this is a step in the right direction. Saudi Arabian girls are being allowed to have sport related activities within their private schools. This did surprise me a little just because Saudi women's rights are very limited but this is a simple improvement just to the general health and well being of these girls. Two females competed in the last years summer Olympics representing Saudi Arabia and their efforts were not shown on Saudi TV. These women competing has opened a few doors to allowing more than just men to engage in these activities. Usually sports were only for the elite women who could afford gym memberships or attend well known colleges. Even though women cannot compete internationally or sign up for clubs or leagues this is a step in the right direction.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 9:47 PM

This is an interesting article about slowly allowing women in Saudi Arabia to participate in sports. While playing soccer or swimming or running may not seem so important to us in the West, it is a big deal for Saudi women. Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest laws in the Middle East regarding women's rights, and so even a very partial and gradual allowance for women to engage in sports is a big step. It shows perhaps a slight softening of adherence to Shariah law, which would hopefully eventually allow women more freedom in the realms of education and work, as well as in everyday life. 

 

Too often are people quick to judge and characterize other cultures or religions by the most extreme examples. While it is true that laws in Saudi Arabia are extremely restrictive to women, progress such as this, though small, may well act as a stepping stone for increased freedoms for women. People outside of Saudi Arabia and Islamic culture must realize that this kind of progress does happen and is, in fact, happening right now. To simply dismiss Saudi culture as misogynistic and oppressive is to write the whole culture off. While progress is slow and less than ideal, we should look to Saudi Arabia's Islamic neighbors and see that many of them are not so oppressive to women. Allowing Saudi women to participate in sports, therefore, may be setting up the country to increase women's rights and join its relatively more liberal neighbors. This is certainly a sign of positive change, and one that should not be ignored. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 11:28 AM

I was quite shocked to hear of this story. There is no denying, that this is a step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia. However, women are far from free in this country. The activates still have to be in accordance with Islamic Law. The strict dress code also remains in effect for the girls. The Sports themselves, must be overseen by women teachers. I would not call this initiative the Saudi equivalent of title nine, but it is a step forward. Every little inroad, is a step towards more equality. The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be at least slightly altering its view of women. Hopefully this will be the first step in movement to gain Saudi women more rights. In generations to come, hopefully Saudi women will look back on this development as the start of a cultural revolution in Saudi Arabia.     

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American Homes Through the Decades

American Homes Through the Decades | Geography Education | Scoop.it

New homes dominate the market across the Sunbelt, but you can also find older homes with historical features and distinct architectural styles in most major metros -- from stained glass windows in homes built before the 1900s to snail showers found in homes from the 2000s.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive feature shows some intriguing historical insight into the United States metropolitan housing markets and this article associated with the interactive analyzes the growth trends in particular cities.

 

Questions to Ponder: how is this real estate interactive a portal into the historical economic geography of U.S. cities?  What explains the regional patterns?  New England?  Texas?  


Tagshousing, urban, unit 7 cities.

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Meridith Hembree Berry's curator insight, May 7, 2013 3:41 PM

This interactive map is quite fascinating to view the settlement patterns. Drop in the rivers. Consider the movement to the Sunbelt. This would make for a really interesting essay to speculate (and support) the reasons people move to specific areas.  

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What is a Hotspot?

1) What is a hotspot? A volcanic "hotspot" is an area in the upper mantle from which heat rises in a plume from deep in the Earth. High heat and lower pressure at the base of the mantle facilitates melting of the rock. This melt, called magma, rises through cracks to the surface and forms volcanoes. As the tectonic plate moves over the stationary hot spot, the volcanoes are rafted away and new ones form in their place.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Why are the Hawaiian Islands a linear formation if there are not plate boundaries in that region?  Why are the islands seemingly arranged from largest to smallest?  The answers lie in the physical geography of 'hot spots.'  After this introductory video, you can learn more about the geologic life cycle of a hot spot volcanic island in this companion video


Tags: Oceania, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 23, 2015 2:46 AM

While watching this video you can learn a lot about a hotspot in just 2 minutes, understanding that a hotspot is an area in the upper mantle in which heat rises and slowly begins to expand, building up pressure. The magma, which is hot rises and the cold matter sinks. the magma rises through the cracks and the plates actually carry the volcano. How did the whole idea of a volcano occur? Who knows where these volcanos are?  The hotspot can cause volcanos to erupt or even cause the volcanos to spread out, who knew a hotspot could be such a huge influence on the world, causing massive landforms and causing much tragedy.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:33 PM

What is a hotspot? It is a source of localized energy from the seafloor that creates volcanoes. It is not just a shallow reservoir nor a pipe filled with liquid. It is a constant stream of magma that does not move. Simple the plate move over it creating a row of multiple volcanoes, such as the Hawaiian Islands. When the magma erupts thru the surface the magma then turns to lava, and dries to rock. This process repeats until the built up lava is a volcano, still with hotspot in the middle. The plate moves and the hotspot creates a new volcano.

                This is interesting because hotspots are always changing geography, and causing map makers and teachers everywhere to learn new islands. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 5:18 PM

this is a good way to discover how volcanoes are formed, and if you are trying to understand the Oceania region then this is information you need to know.

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The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The article leaves me with more questions than answers.  What do the residents think about the tons of tourists wondering through their winding streets?  The very idea of tourism to see poverty in situ in an authentic slum is riddled with power and cultural imbalances.  Why would wealthy tourists from the developed world want to more fully explore the slums in the developing world?  What do you see as the 'wrong' and the 'right' within this situation?   Is slum tourism ethical?

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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 7, 2013 1:36 AM

I don’t find nothing right about tourist visiting the slum, I feel that the tourist are violating there privacy. They are human being not some historical landmark. If the tourist are not helping this people why are they going? If you are going to visit this places do it because you want to help them, not because you think is interesting their way of living.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 4:57 PM

Moral questions are always fun. Personally I don't think going to see slums is all that exploitative in itself, but I would make a distinction between guided tours that cost money, and self-directed tours though. In a guided tour you are paying money to walk through a community and view what life is like for those people, but in a self-directed tour you are just another person walking down the streets and viewing whatever you stumble upon. There are plenty of tours within neighborhoods of different economic value the world over, but these tours are scrutinized because the people touring are as wealthy, or less wealthy, than the people living there. I don't think that a poor community changes this dynamic in an immoral way, as the perceptions of which group is superior come from the own minds of those who feel uncomfortable with it.

 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 2:41 PM

This article rises in interesting question.  Are tours of slums exploitive or beneficial to the slum dwellers?  On the one hand the tours could feel like exploitation and the tourist is viewing attractions at a “zoo”, on the other hand it brings people far removed from slum life in contact with it and can change people’s point of view on the slums.  It can be beneficial if the tour guides donate money to the slums or jobs are sought by slum dwellers to become tour guides.  The question is should slums be hidden away from view or opened up to tourists so that they can see the hardships first hand.  I think that this is an issue that is not clearly black or white; there are many shades of gray involved in this issue.

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APHG Review Guides

APHG Review Guides | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's that time of year to really buckle down; several teachers have created PDFs versions of review guides for the May 17th AP Human Geography test.  James Nelsen, a veteran APHG teacher has produced a “grand review.”  This resource intentionally does not come with a key to force the students to delve deeper and search for the answers themselves.  Allison Hunt had her students create their own study guide for the APHG test focusing on the ‘big ideas.’  Best of luck and these and other resources are archived on my "thematic" tab on http://geographyeducation.org.

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Seeking Oakland's Soul In The 'New Oakland'

Seeking Oakland's Soul In The 'New Oakland' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Oakland, Calif., was a hub of African-American life on the West Coast. Today, it's one of the most diverse cities in the country. How has that shift affected its culture?
Seth Dixon's insight:

The NPR blog Code Switch focuses on issues of race, culture and ethnicity.  In this podcast they explore the changing demographics of Oakland due to gentrification and the cultural impact that it has had.  In the 80s, African-Americans represented nearly half of Oakland's population, but today is now 34 percent white, 28 percent black, 25 percent Latino and 17 percent Asian.  The music scene, night life and sense of communal identity has consequently shifted, and that causes some to yearn for what once was.   


Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic

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Exploring the Brain’s GPS

Exploring the Brain’s GPS | Geography Education | Scoop.it
May-Britt and Edvard I. Moser are exploring the way the brain records and remembers movement in space, which they speculate may be the basis of all memory.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is more neuroscience than it is geography, but it is incredibly relevant to geographers and spatial analysis.  These Norwegian neuroscientists are charting the brain to understand how we remember where we have been, where we are and how we navigate through space.  They are primarily mapping out the brains of rats, but much of what they’ve discovered appears to hold for all mammals.  There are certain cells that are only active when you are in certain places.  These cells interact as a network in a grid pattern,  forming a very regular hexagonal pattern (central place theory!?!).  These ‘place cells’ or ‘grid cells’ store information about distances and directions and are crucial to navigation.  Read more about it in this article or watch this 6-minute video

 

Tags: spatial, mental maps.

  

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Stray Dogs Master Moscow Subway

Stray Dogs Master Moscow Subway | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B.  Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Even if only a small fraction of strays have figured out how to navigate the subway system, it represents another example of how animals have adapted to the urban ecosystem in a way that human did not intend.  The dogs get on the subway in the morning and go downtown searching for food and return to the suburbs to sleep.  This has been circulating on social media sites, and I find it endlessly fascinating.   


Tags: urban ecologyRussia, environment adapt, biogeography.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 1:46 AM

Dogs are creatures of habit. They get on at one stop and off at another every day or every so often. This is because there is an abundance of stray dogs and since no one is taking them in, Moscow will continue to have interesting subway surfers among them.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:06 PM

Humans commonly think of themselves as separate from nature.  However, we very much are a part of it and animals, like these stray dogs, know it.  When dealing with something more powerful than yourself, you have to learn how to navigate the system in order to survive.  That is exactly what these dogs have done, literally and figuratively, by learning the complex subway systems in Moscow.  It is an example of how animals can adapt to their man-made surroundings and how persistent (the rest of) nature can be.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:51 PM

Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you notice that the commuters around you include a stray dog. Some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's complicated subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops. The human commuters around them are so accustomed to it that they rarely seem to notice. As many as 35,000 stray dogs live in Russia's capital city. They can be found everywhere, from markets to construction sites to underground passageways, scrounging for food and trying to survive. Using the subway is just one of many strategies that they use to survive. Living in the streets in tough and these dogs know this better than some humans. What is most impressive about their dogs is their ability to deal with the Metro's loud noises and packed crowds, distractions that domesticated dogs often cannot handle.

Suggested by Tara Cohen
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What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster

What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster

~ Jonathan V. Last (author) More about this product
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What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster [Jonathan V. Last] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifying offers. Look around you and think for a minute: Is America too crowded?
Seth Dixon's insight:

I have yet to read this book, but the title alone says that it could be an intriguing supplemental text for a unit on population (or an 'opposing viewpoint' to consider).  For those that have read the book, please comment below. 


Tags: USA, declining population, population, demographicsmodels.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 29, 2013 12:36 AM

I really wasn't sure where to put this scoop. There may be a time when the GMOs affect our fertility as many think GMOs are affecting herds fed GMOs. The physical environment might affect this as well. The social and economic challenges may impact fertility and plain selfishness and putting industrial needs over human needs could affect it as well. It looks like an interesting book so I thought I would make note of it.

Tara Cohen's comment, May 1, 2013 7:58 PM
I ordered this book from Amazon because I thought it would be a great fit for AP Human. I read the first 20 pages last night and was blown away. It totally covers all the information in the Demography Unit and the author has a sense of humor. Only 20 pages in, but I give it two thumbs up!
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Facebook connections map the world

Facebook connections map the world | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Facebook intern Paul Butler has created a detailed map of the world by mapping connections between people using the social network living in different cities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The disconnected portions of the this map tell us as much about the world we live in as the highly illuminated ones. Might this be a version of the "Black Marble" image that would reasonate more with today's teenagers?  For the methods behind the creation of this map as well as a high resolution version of the map, see this post.


Tags: social media, map, visualization.

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Thomas C. Thompson's curator insight, April 28, 2013 1:25 AM

This is a picture of our world and the real way that we are connected in real time from Facebook. It's amazing! Share this everywhere!

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:23 PM

This map amazes me because of just how big Facebook has become after starting as a small site for college kids in the U.S. to connect on.  Now it is one of the largest contributing factors to globalization as it allows people from various continents to connect to others with a simple Internet connection.  It has helped people of different cultures come together and as we saw in class, it helps spread word of different political happenings that regular news media tries to hide from us.  

It's also really interesting to see how China is completely off the grid and so is central and Saharan Africa because in terms of modern day globalization, they are not areas that participate in many global affairs and with the prominence Facebook holds in today's world, the parts of the world that are missing are much stranger to us in cultural terms.

L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 2014 9:26 AM

Global networks

 

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A 'Ziggy' Path to the NFL

Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah's journey to the NFL, beginning as a walk-on to the Brigham Young University football team from Accra, Ghana, who had never played foot...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ezekiel loved playing soccer and never played American football until he was in his 20's; that is NOT a typical path to the NFL.  Ziggy's life represents the geography of opportunity.  If he had grown up in the United States, a boy with his physical abilities would have been funneled into football leagues at an early age.  If he lived his whole life in Africa, he would never become a millionaire (probably not anyway).  However, global diffusion of religious ideas brought LDS missionaries to his home in Ghana; enhanced migrational opportunities took him to Utah and all of these geographic factors (combined with his personal skills and ambition) helped him to become the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and a member of the Detroit Lions.  Read here for more on Ziggy.  


This story also makes be wonder if those with the greatest physical talent for a sport always gets the opportunity.  I'm sure some kids in tropical countries have the physical tools to be fantastic hockey players, but without access to participation at an early age because of the cultural preferences of the area (although with hockey you could argue it's also climatically determined), they are geographically constrained to a different set of possibilities for their lives.  

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Seth Dixon's comment, April 27, 2013 12:36 AM
I have (and forgot that's where the nugget of the 'hockey' idea came from). I just wish I had those cool glasses! Poor Eagles, Ziggy is ultimate high risk/high reward pick.
megan b clement's curator insight, October 13, 2013 5:30 AM

"The article discusses Ziggy who is orginally from Ghana who came to America and usually played soccer. As a result of coming to America and his profound athletic ability adjusted to the American tradition of playing football one of America's number one past times. He came into a foreign country and not only made it his home but made football a challlenge he was going to conquere. It was not always easy but with the talent, right tools, and the right people to inspire and push him he is one of the best players in 2013."

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 31, 2013 5:53 PM

The story of Ziggy is a great one; it not only shows how hard work and perseverance pay off, but also the importance of cultural diffusion. After hearing how ziggy grew up it was clear that he had some natural athletic talent, but with out the ability to come to school in America he would have never had a chance to explore his football abilities. I liked how in the video they showed a clip of him talking to the head coach when he first asked to play and he said, “ You know this isn’t soccer.” And Ziggy responded by saying, “Yes I understand but if you give me a chance I believe I can do well.”

This just shows how much geography can limit possibilities, Ziggy had never even had the opportunity to try out, train or play football from a young age. I guess it all kind of reminds me of how America is really a land of opportunities, and how a sophomore at BYU with no prior football experience can go to being the 2013 number five overall draft pick in the NHL.