"A great Florida teacher produced this video. Visit his course website for additional incredible resources."
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"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).
"If an urban population demands the freshest vegetables, they should be produced within a 24-hour field-to-table delivery zone. What, therefore, should be the highest and best use of agricultural land between Taiwan's two largest cities, Taipei and Kaoshiung, only 200 miles apart? The Lord of the Rings, a.k.a., Johan Heinrich Von Thünen, has the answer." 
This image and analysis comes from the blog "Geographically Yours" by Don Zeigler. He's a well-traveled cultural geographer and has been collecting great teaching images over his career and is now sharing them on this site. These pictures are great discussion starters and bell ringers to start the day.
The APHG course outline and description was changed over the summer and the 2014 test will reflect these changes. So what are the changes? I've created this slideshow to show what the changes are and add links to my site that might be thematically useful. The hyperlinks don't work in the first 4 slides so I duplicated the unit 1 slides at the end of the document (you can download this as a PDF file or the Powerpoint file as well).
Tweet from Earth Pics (screenshot preserved for when it gets taken down). Retweeted over 1,000 times in the first hour.
This is a real island...well, sort of. It is an island off the coast of Thailand (most certainly not Ireland) and there is no castle on the top. Photoshopping and easy file sharing make it harder to assess the validity of online resources (this fantastic digital manipulation is the work of Jan Oliehoek). Most students start their research with online sources. This isn't to pretend that that I've never mistakenly assumed that some online content was accurate when it wasn't true; I think we all have. I think that it's an important conversation to have with our students so they can be more critical consumers of online information and use some geographic skills to assess the quality of that information.
"If you're concerned about Common Core and how geography fits in then don't miss this informative event. We'll dive into resources that were designed to expand the definition of text, show the alignment between the ELA common core standards and Geography for Life along with suggesting teaching ideas. This presentation will focus on the ELA and Geography Interconnections document that was created to support educators. The session will also highlight the National Geographic Common Core website and the resources available. Join us for a look into Common Core Standards and Geography Education!"
NCGE and National Geographic Education have partnered to bring you the first free partnership webinar of the 2013-2014 NCGE Webinar Series! This webinar is tomorrow evening (Wednesday August 28th, 9:00pm EDT) so register ASAP! I've posted some resources in the past about how geography and the Common Core can be aligned; this webinar will pull together years of work to ensure that geography does not get squeezed out of the curriculum.
Jay Leno interviews high school students knowledge of global issues and geographic understanding...as I'm sure you can guess, it isn't pretty.
If you want your students to be able to laugh at other students that aren't actually in your classroom, Jay Leno can always find a pool of people willing to embarrass themselves in front of the camera (mocking and being mocked was a major part of my junior and high school experiences). This and about a dozen other videos are compiled together in this start-of-the-year video list.
"This is a compilation of videos that can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy."
The recently revised Geography for Life standards have been aligned to show how geographic skills can be taught within the Common Core framework. The National Geographic Society, in cooperation with the National Council for Geographic Education and the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education created Connections to be that link (for grade specific Common Core/Geography resources click here).
So how is this to be done? This storymap shows ten great examples of maps that can be used as reading documents, one for each of the 10 ELA Reading Standards.
Seth Dixon, a Rhode Island College geography professor and the coordinator of the RI Geography Education Alliance, gave the keynote address at the Thinking Geographically about International Issues 2013 summer institute, in a talk entitled What Does Good Geography Teaching Look Like?
I was delighted to speak at Brown University this summer as a part of the Choices Program's summer institute. This is the video of that talk (as well as the hyperlinked slides) that is my modest attempt to tackle such a monumental question in my profession.
|Suggested by Jorge Joo Nagata|
Campaña para impedir que el Ministerio de Educación de Chile borre la Geografìa del Currículum Escolar.
In many countries, geography education is in peril. In Chile, the Education Ministry is rewriting the curriculum and many are afraid that Geography will be squeezed out (sound familiar?). This Spanish-language video is a statement of why geography is fundamental, practical and a important as a lived experience. You can also find "Min Educ: No Mates La Geografia" on Facebook and YouTube.