The Geography Classroom
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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
Curated by Elisha Upton
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Re-examining the Battle of Gettysburg with GIS

Re-examining the Battle of Gettysburg with GIS | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

"GIS has given us the chance to re-examine how the Civil War battle was won and lost." 


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Todd Pollard's curator insight, February 4, 2014 10:34 PM

I really like this interactive map application.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, August 28, 2014 1:13 PM

unit 1

Rich Schultz's curator insight, November 18, 2014 3:14 PM

Just another of the millions of uses for GIS...

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind."  Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary.  The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.  

 

Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG. 


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Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls

Syria could Balkanize as Assad falls | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Syria is destined to fragment into three separate sectarian states after the regime of Bashar al-Assad is extirpated, according to Mohammad Yaghi, a Syrian jour...

 

"It no longer matters whether what is happening in Syria is a revolution or a conspiracy that preempted a potential revolution — or even a conspiracy targeting the 'non-aligned' countries. The substance of the matter is: Is it possible to save Syria from imminent disintegration?"  This article that originally came from a Palestinian news agency serves as a good material to start a discussion about centripetal and centrifugal forces.

 

Tags: Middle East, devolution, political, unit 4 political and war. 


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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 4, 2012 12:17 PM
This article reveals that diversity and stability in society may not be synonymous in a location where there is limited population diffusion. If a population is never diffused throughout a particular space, you risk creating a situation where ethnic and religious groups become highly regionalized which in turn further erode the solidarity of nations like Syria.
Chris W's comment, September 5, 2012 11:21 AM
the whole situation in the Middle East right now is on a dangerous and slippery slope when it comes to governments controlling the populations by force. the Arab Spring was a turning point in the history and current direction of the region as Arabs across the region are striving for freedoms that they see as essential to their livelihoods. In Syria's case, Assad has taken over the country using his military forces to overrun cities and villages in efforts to establish his control. Opposition forces are battling to drive Assad out of power. There are record numbers of refugees fleeing Syria as it descends in civil war. Al-Jazeera has a really good article on what constitutes a civil war and if Syria is indeed heading towards one or is in fact currently in a civil war. the link is posted here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/08/201282683723964944.html
Megan Becker's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:49 PM

Summary: Syria's composition of multiple nations has lead to stress and internal conflict in the country. This article discusses the balkanization of Syria, if these centrifugal forces were to come to the breakup of the country.

 

Insight: This article relates to unit 4 in that the devolution of Syria, and possible balkanization, is due to the centrifugal force of having several different nations inside your country, that don't share the same culture, religion, or even language. This article does a great job of explaining the forces that can lead to the breakup of a country, scarily evident in present day Syria. 

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A History of Conflicts

A History of Conflicts | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.     


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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, August 16, 2012 8:06 AM
Oh... You are lucky ;-)
Paul Rymsza's comment, August 22, 2012 2:15 PM
the potential of this site is amazing between the interactive learning system and the correlation between the timeline and location. If the human geography class is anything like this i can't wait for it!
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.    

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Ghosts Of Rwanda

This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death.  To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/


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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 12:30 PM
In this situation I look at America and I can't help but ask "Why didn't you help?" These people were getting killed for no good reason, and we as a nation knew this and did nothing. I'm ashamed that we didn't aid them, my heart goes out for the Rwandan people.
Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:08 PM

while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle.  The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area.  It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem. 

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Why Syria should matter to Americans

Why Syria should matter to Americans | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
In between taking care of their families, working and trying to keep up with everyday life, many Americans have caught at least a couple stories about Syria.

 

Geopolitical strategists have noted 6 reasons why the United States should care about Syria (if the fact that people are dying and suffering because of a repressive regime is not enough for you).  1) it is the physical core of the Middle East 2) Al Qaeda 3)Iran 4)Oil Prices 5) Economics and 6) Global reputation within the region.


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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:43 PM

Syria seen as the core of the Middle East and if it begins to weaken, so does the entire middle east. The violence that is riddling Syria can make it way into Iraq, where some Americans are still active in. The article goes on to highlight how Syria, while not on our list of immediate concerns, could seriously effect Oil prices due to the violence erupting in that country and how the possibility of United States involvement could have an effect on the US economy, just like the war in Iraq had an effect and cost $1 trillion as a result. The article also shows how the United States is becoming more involved, at least verbally, by saying that it has a “responsibility as a global leader to defend democratic Principles.”

Chandler and Zane's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:21 PM

Economics: Americans should care about Syrians because 1: they are people like you and me. 2: they who said " since they aren't us we don't care for them and we won't accept outsiders. Nobody that's who. Syria does have issues and problems that need to be worked on but we can't give up on them and what if we decreased in what we have. We would need somebody to take us in and if we help them, they'll help us.

Clayton and Annie's curator insight, February 10, 2015 5:26 PM

Syria is actually very important to americans and our country. Most people wouldnt expect it, but they are. it is the political core which is the main reason.

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.

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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey

As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit

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Joshua Choiniere's comment, December 18, 2012 11:23 AM
This is really interesting professor
Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 28, 2012 6:34 AM

How to handle it?

 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:10 PM

what i find interesting about this is that both syria and turkey are trying to remove the kurds from their countries. neither country will allow more kurds to immigrate into their land, but both are encouraging them to leave and go fight in the other country. the kurds seem to not care which country they live in as long as they are all together but no country wants them.

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The New World

The New World | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.

 

This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability.  Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map.  These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.

 

Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 23, 2012 9:36 PM
Very interesting and informative piece, I found slide (10) especially intriguing with its discussion on the possibility of China claiming parts of Siberia.
Anna Sasaki's curator insight, March 24, 2015 8:53 AM

This article is probably one of my favorites I have read so far. It describes perfectly the political instability still present in the world, and that the globe and its boundaries are constantly changing, never staying put for too long. It surprised me at the new borders which most likely are going to happen, such as the unification of parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, the fact that South Korea is subtly getting ready for the reunification of North and South Korea. Also, there may be devolution in Mali and splintering devolution in the Congo's.

This shows devolution as the power in these nations in which are breaking up, such as Belgium and the Flemish peoples. It shows the centrifugal forces behind the breakup of nations, such as ethnicities which vary, or the centripetal forces which bring nations together such as the combination of South and North Korea. 

Caroline Ivy's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:12 AM

Devolution/Fragmentation

 

This article is about nations that could become potentially independent in the near Future, whether due to chronic ethnic incoherence, redrawn governemnt policies, or a growing stateless nation group. Some examples given are an independent Khurdistan, a larger Azerbaijan, and the split of Belgium. 

 

Centrifugal forces are the root of conflict in many countries. These forces include ethnic variety, lack of common language, political instability. These are what may be causing a split in both Belgium (developed country) and Somalia (developing country). There may also be a unification of countries—the map gives an example of the Saudia Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, and other melding into one Arabian Gulf Union, of China absorbing Siberia. This does not necessarily herald the presence of centripetal forces, as these countries may be the result of military conquest. 

 

 

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Insecure Space and Precarious Geographies

Insecure Space and Precarious Geographies | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

This is an intriguing look into security, terrorism, politics and the city.  The most interesting places are often the most unconventional and places like Jerusalem with it's geopolitical importance, makes for a very compelling urban landscape. 


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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.

 

Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:07 PM

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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NCSS: War and Terrorism

NCSS: War and Terrorism | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:24 PM

This must be a great teaching plan so students can be thought about what is going on in the world. It also shows them what is going on in Iraq and in the Middle East and it could probably trigger one of them to fight back and change the Middle East from all the discrimination towards women and probably destroy all these bad groups that just have a motive to destroy and kill.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:34 AM

Before 9/11 a lot of Americans didnt know much about the war on terrorism, It wasnt till after the attacks when they were directly affected did they bother to learn more about it to know why it happened and if something like it would happen again. 

Max Minard's curator insight, May 26, 2015 8:32 PM

This article brings up the topic of educating students on the major topics of current political affairs and serious terrorist incursions in the Middle East and other parts of the world. As it says, it contains 30 lesson plans that all focus on providing resources and factual information on current events that involve US war in Iraq and terrorism. I personally think that this course will successfully provide students with a better knowledge on what's actually happening around them. This can further lead them to knowing how to handle these situations in the future, where they must lead the United States. It will better prepare them for future roles in government.  

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


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Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 17, 2015 9:36 PM

It's interesting to see a country's government want to maintain ethnic divides rather than bridge the gap between the two groups. This reminds me of a portion of my Anthropology class last semester on the Rwandan Genocide. Afterwards, the new government attempted to bring everyone together and tried to erase the racial differences that caused the conflict in the first place. It did this in an attempt to solidify power and to gain further control. In my mind, I see this reaction as the more logical one than keeping the races at odds with each other. Judging by their own smaller "Occupy" movement and from the commentary within the article, it seems that some in the country are ready to put past old feelings and become united as a country.

Peyton Conner's curator insight, April 8, 2016 9:45 AM
I find this article very interesting due to the reason that after all the fighting and killing that has happened between these three ethnic groups, that they now want to team up to stop their corrupt government. Though the question is can they put their differences aside to work together ? PC
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NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World

NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
A look inside the controversial underground tunnels that link Egypt and the Gaza Strip, where smugglers funnel fuel, food, and potentially weapons into the isolated territory.

 

This video is a look inside the some of the hundreds of tunnels that are used to smuggle goods into Gaza that have become more intensely used since the blockade on goods that went into effect in 2007 when Hamas came to power.  Also, members of the Israeli military demonstrate the evidence they have that these tunnels are being used to bring weapons. 


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The Geography of Hunger and Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk...

 

Excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues.   This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics.  


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, December 5, 2011 1:02 AM
This is a incredible clip that does challenge students to synthesize information and make the connections between topics, but it can also help students to realize making a difference at a early age is important. I learned an abundance of facts just from watching, it was informative and intriguing. As I was watching the video I was thinking of ways it can be incorporated into the classroom. This video could get students to learn about the world's number one health risk. Incorporating it into the classroom by holding a food drive, or having a school wide fundraiser to donate to the British Red Cross is also another way to help. Getting our future minds informed and helping the community will make an impact in the future.