Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the 'numerical recipes' which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools to help us understand and compare places, determine how places are related, find the best locations and paths, detect and quantify patterns, and even to make spatial predictions."
GIS is a key tool in spatial analysis, but it can also be a driving force in using math, science, technology and (yes) geography as interdisciplinary ways of teaching the curriculum. StoryMaps can be rich with images and videos, but also filled with data at a variety of scales. What stories can you tell in this rich, visual format? What visual template shown might lend itself best for that sort of project?
"This 18-stanza poem by Kit Salter, beautifully captures the importance of geographic thinking in any history/social studies curriculum. This was shared by Dr. Vernon Domingo and the slides of his keynote address titled, Integrating Geography and History are available here."
It was my privilege to hear my good friend and fellow geo-evangelist, Dr. Vernon Domingo recently as he shared ideas on the importance of integrating geographic analysis in historical inquiry. He shared a fabulous poem by Kit Salter, one of the pioneers in the Network of Geographic Alliances. I'll only share the first stanza here:
How can there be a separate scene,
For history without place
How can there be events in time,
For which there is no space?
"Some great geography education resources that can be found on Twitter."
While I might wish to write posts about everything pertinent to geography education that I find on social media, I just don't have the time to do it all. Too many good tweets, not enough time. Periodically I will share a list of tweets that can link you to good resources and help you expand your personal learning network.
"A great resource full of great links to accompany the Geography Soup channel on Vimeo."
Geography Soup is a Vimeo channel designed to include interesting videos that are laden with geographic content in them. This powerpoint slideshow has resources designed to help you get the most flavor and substance out of these (and any other) video resources. This is especially great for K-12 students, physical and regional geography.
"Join us to learn how you can connect your students with students around the world through global collaborative projects. Register at: http://on.natgeo.com/1ymyZdC "
I've tried to resist sharing each individual geographic gaffe that the media makes over the years as evidence that we need to strengthen geography education. Unfortunately, though these media cartographic errors are all to common, geographic ignorance runs much deeper that. Creating a geo-literate society entails so much more than just knowing where places are on the map...although that is a good start.
"Lets start off the new school year in style! This is a re-imagining of an older resource designed to introduce the subject to new students in a highly visual manner. Feel free to use & share it."
"A great Florida teacher produced this video. Visit his course website for additional incredible resources."
This just one of my favorite "start of the year" videos. I've compiled them here so they can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy. They show why taking geography courses is so important, useful and interesting. Do you know of a great video that I should put on the list? Send me a tweet.
"Occasionally we need to be reminded that the concepts of distance and area are important to the day-to-day understanding of breaking news stories, as well as many of our daily personal decisions. Although modern communications and transportation have reduced the roles of distance and area in some activities, by no means has it eliminated the utility of these concepts."
This classic Geography in the News highlights the importance of basic geographic concepts to understand and contextual global news.
|Suggested by Josh Romero|
Explore educational and professional development resources for teachers and classrooms on Annenberg Media's learner.org. Companion to the Annenberg Media series Power of Place. This site covers the 26 episodes of the world geography course, produced by Cambridge Studios.
"Geography. It lets you study the world. No, really, THE WORLD. Think about that. What other subject deals with rocks? Moving continents? AND climate? Diffusion of plants and animals? Water quality? Now, what if you add some human systems--do the other sciences let you relate the earth to economic or political systems? And culture--food, religion, music, housing, or language? How about urban systems and settlement forms? Past, present, and future, anywhere in the world? And how many subject areas let you look at something from a scientific, social-scientific, humanistic, AND artistic perspective? Yeah, I said artistic--I like to illustrate my findings with a nice map.
Tell me all about global studies or environmental science if you'd like--they're alright too. But NOTHING lets you see the world like geography does."
This 'sermon' from the Church of Geography is outstanding (the 'Church' is a geo-evangelizing group on Facebook and Twitter that is the home to the delightful memes pictured above). Many organizations are trying to re-brand geography to gain greater public support at the same time that other interdisciplinary initiatives with geographic content are gaining traction: global studies, environmental sustainability, centers for spatial analysis, etc. We don't need a name change as much as we need people to capture the vision of geography's centrality and holistic capacity.
|Suggested by cafonso|
"When I was a kid, my father brought home from I know not where an enormous collection of National Geographic magazines spanning the years 1917 to 1985. I found, tucked in almost every issue, one of the magazine’s gorgeous maps—of the Moon, St. Petersburg, the Himalayas, Eastern Europe’s ever-shifting boundaries. I became a cartography enthusiast and geographical sponge, poring over them for years just for the sheer enjoyment of it, a pleasure that remains with me today. Whether you’re like me and simply love the imaginative exercise of tracing a map’s lines and contours and absorbing information, or you love to do that and you get paid for it, you’ll find innumerable ways to spend your time on the new Open Access Maps project at the New York Public Library."
The history of baseball reflects the story of expansion in the United States. New cities have emerged and modern stadiums have been built as a growing population fueled the popularity of our National Pastime. The result is an extensive network of baseball teams at every level - from the major leagues to the little leagues - that represent the communities and environments in which they play. Everything from jersey colors, names, and symbols to the foods served at ballparks reflects the local landscape and culture of baseball teams. A simple game that began with a bat and ball is now a comprehensive case study of how people and geography are interrelated.
All of the lessons and activities have been prepared to accompany "Geography: Baseball Coast to Coast." You will find that the curriculum is organized into three levels: Level 1 for elementary school students, Level 2 for middle school students, and Level 3 for high school students.
Elmhurst College’s Skills for the Digital Earth MOOC is a 4-week, online course designed to introduce how location technologies are used in society.
Ever stop to think about how important location is when using your smart phone? This educational MOOC begins with an elementary explanation of how society uses location in a myriad of disciplines. Geography, or rather, "where?" is important to all of us from various perspectives.
Within this MOOC, participants will learn what location technologies are used for, how the discipline developed and learn by doing via a series of scaffolded practical exercises. Online spatial software will be employed for any device using a browser which takes users through exercises and real world examples. It is appropriate for those with no prior experience with geographic information systems (GIS) software all the way to advanced users.
Skills for the Digital Earth will incorporate video lectures, interaction opportunities and discussion forums. Each module will feature a quiz and activities, and participants will receive a badge after each completed module to be used to demonstrate skills mastered.
I am very excited about this free MOOC offered through the Elmhurst College Online Center (they also offer the Graduate Certificate Program for AP Human Geography teachers). The instructor, Dr. Rich Schultz is the Associate Director of the National Geospatial Technologies Center of Excellence.
I enjoy the sentiment of this quote; it embraces creative pedagogy while empowering students to be creative agents that can reshape the world. I love the idea of geography enabling young minds to be inspired to imagine a better world and giving them the tools to so. While I love the ethos that is embedded in this quote, I feel that it also underestimates our students and their ability to see past some of the limitations of the educational process. It also doesn't appreciate the importance of understanding the current state of affairs before being able transforms them. However, if we can create an environment that promotes and encourages higher-order thinking, we can help our students see their role in shaping a new world–that is our goal in promoting geo-literacy.
Next week, a delegations from every state alliance will go to Washington D.C. to advocate for geography education and I will represent Rhode Island. On February 26th I will personally meet with Senators Whitehouse and Reed, Congressmen Cicilline and Langevin. I those meetings I will encourage them to become sponsors of the Teaching Geography is Fundamental bill. I would like to encourage you to consider voicing your support for geography education with you representatives. Did you know that Geography is the ONLY required subject that does not receive any dedicated federal funding under No Child Left Behind?
If you are a member of your state geographic alliance (and if not, join!) you can help our cause immensely by letting members of Congress know that there is support for geography education and the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act.. It helps tremendously if they already have heard from constituents about the importance of geography education BEFORE our Feb 26th meetings. I urge you to join me in a chorus of support for action by Congress. You don’t have to go to DC to help.
You can go to SpeakUpForGeography.org and send pre-written letters directly to your Senators and Representative...please join me in this effort to strengthen geography education in the United States.
Professor Seth Dixon shares over 50 of his favorite geography videos in this online map http://bit.ly/KDY6C2
Have you ever wanted to watch a video and to have a map handy at the same time? Ever since I first watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, I love the idea of combining video with maps. I produced this bare-bones map on ArcGIS online to spatially index over 50 videos that I enjoy using in my classes; all are place-specific videos (so they can be ‘located’ on the map). These videos have also been shared here earlier, but this map can function as a more user-friendly way to search for engaging video clips. Do you have a great place-based video that teaches the principles of geography that you love? Please share the URL in the comments section with a brief paragraph.
"This past evening UKEdChat focused on teaching and learning Geography. Aimed at educators teaching Geography at all levels, the session shared ideas, resources, apps, pedagogy, blogs…in fact, anything that supports the teaching and learning process in the subject."
If you haven't ever followed a Twitter chat, they can be incredible sources for teaching ideas, resources, and geographic content. This last week #UKEdChat's topic was geography and if you missed it, they archived the highlights of the chat here. Consider listening to (and joining in) the conversations on #geographyteacher, #APHG, #sschat and many others.
"Are you looking for a way to promote geography in your school in a way that involves students, parents, other teachers and administrators? A Family Geography can absolutely help. Here are some guidelines to run a Family Geography night at a school or an Alliance function."
I’ve had the privilege of working with NEGEN (New England Geography Education Network). The great people in the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance have collaborated to create a template to run Family Geography Nights at schools. These Family Nights are incredibly successful in showing the relevance of geography education to administrators, other teachers, parents and the general public.
In New Hampshire they are doing great work to make mapping data useful in the classroom. This site is one that they use to show how students can map locally relevant data from an online data set. CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network) is a crowd-sourced network that gathers North American precipitation data. The data (especially the total precipitation summary) can be easily copied into as spread sheet and saved as a CSV file (which can be uploaded to ArcGIS online).