"A new study maps the population gaps between men and women around the world."
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over
Curated by Seth Dixon
"A new study maps the population gaps between men and women around the world."
This interactive map is a great way to show how the 3 questions of geography make statistical analysis become more meaningful (where, why there and why care?). There are plenty of reason to care about these spatial patterns and their far-reaching implications.
As geography teachers return to school they will see their subject continuing to expand at all stages of education. For the fifth year running, GCSE entries have risen. At A-level, geography had the largest percentage increase of all the major subjects in 2015, with candidate numbers rising sharply by 13 per cent, following on from the 19 per cent increase in GCSE in 2013. Enrolment on undergraduate courses is running higher than national averages, and graduating geographers experience some of the lowest unemployment levels of any degree subject. Such positive news is welcome and provides a firm foundation for the introduction of the new GCSE and A-levels from September 2016.
So, what has happened to boost geography over the past 10 years? In short, it's a powerful mix of sustained advocacy, support from successive governments, independent evaluation and the slow trickle of messages getting through.
Good news about the state of geography in the United Kingdom. This can serve as a a strategic plan and a vision for revitalizing geography in the United States.
This website serves as an off-campus host for text, images, data and other web-based resources associated with the free eText, Introduction to Human Geography: A Disciplinary Approach.
I'm very excited to see a free eText in Human Geography. I will be looking at this more closely during the next semester and think that geography teachers will see this as a welcome supplemental to their arsenal of resources. This is definitely on the shortlist of best materials on this site.
Some educators believe that geography is subject that should go hand in hand with the STEM push.
Geography used to be a subject that was taught throughout the nation but somewhere along the line it got put on the back burner. Now, in California, educators are finding ways to bring the subject back and their methods may be of interest to parents and teachers beyond the West Coast.
"This video forms a lively introduction to A Different View and the themes within it. A Different View is a manifesto from the Geographical Association. It makes a compelling case for geography's place in the curriculum. But the world changes, and so does the curriculum. A Different View, and the supporting materials on this website, are designed to be used in any context where geography is taught, explained, encouraged or promoted."
"As the proud publisher of both Journal of Geography and The Geography Teacher, the official publications of the NCGE, we couldn't be more excited to join the NCGE in Washington, DC for their 100th Anniversary Conference. We will be offering NCGE members and attendees FREE ACCESS to specially selected content which reflects core themes of this special meeting: Korea, Pedagogy, Educational Policy, Spatial Thinking, and Technology - 100 articles for 100 years!" http://bit.ly/celebrate-geoedu
The National Council for Geographic Education is having their 100th conference this week (#NCGE100). The Journal of Geography has recently TRIPLED its impact factor and The Geography Teacher is growing from 2 issues a year to 4. These are fabulous resources (and great reasons to become a member of NCGE). The link above is a collection of great articles over the years linked to the themes of the conference; here are free articles from the Journal of Geography and some free articles/lesson plans from The Geography Teacher.
One reason why geography has languished in the curricula of many American schools is that so few people understand the nature of the discipline or its relevance to our everyday lives. What is geography? What is its unique perspective? What do geographers do? Why is geography important? Why should we teach (and learn) geography in the schools? These are questions that have gone largely unanswered in American education. This brief essay presents an easily taught, understood, and remembered definition of geography.
Ask any teenager for directions and he can pull up Google Maps quicker than you can recite an address. Pretty awesome, right? And I’ll be the first to admit that having a map in my phone that not only tells me where to turn but how long it will take me to get there is pretty amazing. I use it all the time, honestly. But even when I’m zoning out and listening to that soothing voice telling me where to turn, I have a mental picture in my head of her directions. And I never realized that my teenage daughter doesn’t have a map in her head, because she’s never really had to use one. Ever.
Many of the more fortunate students (access to portable electronic devices, multi-car families with parents who drive them around, etc.) are actually worse off in map reading skills in part because they have never needed to develop a mental map and are not adept at navigating their neighborhoods (in the last few generations most and the range that part). When these children become drivers, they are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries. So teach a kid how to read a map...the sooner the better.
"Explore ten 'big ideas' that encapsulate the technological and social trends that have pushed geographic information systems (GIS) onto the Internet in a significant way. See how to apply these ideas to your own world. Open your eyes to what is now possible with Web GIS, and put the technology and deep data resources in your hands via the Quickstarts and Learn ArcGIS lessons that are included in each chapter."
I haven't fully previewed this online textbook yet but I am VERY optimistic about this one from the ESRI library. You can also download the textbook as a PDF here. There are several other online textbooks that would interest geography teachers
"It’s a good time to reflect on what truly inspires us. What gives us, as individuals, our own sense of independence? And how can we apply that sense of joyful independence to help us engage more actively and participate more readily in the world—to make it a better place, even? Cultivating a better geographical and cultural appreciation for the world, in the next generation as well as in our own, is a pretty good place to start."
"It's Swanzey in New Hampshire and Swansea in Massachusetts, but they are both pronounced the same. Other names like Albany are spelled the same but pronounced very differently in New York than it is in the city in Georgia with same name. First settlers of an area often named places after something to remind them of a place left behind (like Swansea, Wales)."
So apparently Instagram's a thing and I'm giving it a go; I created an account to share some on the physical and cultural landscapes that I find intriguing. The Swansea/Swanzey town names in New England caught my eye and was one of my Instagram posts (usually I will NOT share them here). I also curate other scoop.it pages including:
Stratfor explains Romania's geographic challenge of remaining united while limiting the influence of larger surrounding powers. For more of these videos, visit http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT
Stratfor produced a new video in their "Geographic Challenge" series. I've updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers. These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.
I’ve organized some of more ‘evergreen’ posts by the AP Human Geography curriculum unit headings as well as ‘shortlist’ for each unit.
"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.