Mrs. Watson's Class
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China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands

China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
New satellite imagery indicates that China has installed weapon systems on all seven artificial islands it has built in the contested waters of the South China Sea, a move that's likely alarm the country's neighbors.

 

Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, remote sensing, East Asia.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 16, 2016 1:43 PM

UPDATE: After this news, the Pentagon says a Chinese warship has seized a US Navy underwater drone collecting unclassified data in international waters in the South China Sea.

Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, January 4, 3:41 PM
With a new president on our horizon, how will this affect our relationship with China?
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10 Territorial Disputes That Mean Your Maps Are Already Wrong

10 Territorial Disputes That Mean Your Maps Are Already Wrong | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
As it stands, there are well over 150 territorial disputes around the globe, some more urgent than others. Here are 10 you need to know about -- and that could redefine the world map.
Nancy Watson's insight:

 The changing nature of maps.

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

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Nancy Watson's insight:

Both History and Geography explained in these maps

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design

A Dictator's Guide to Urban Design | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Ukraine's Independence Square, and the revolutionary dimensions of public spaces.
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Why are we building new walls to divide us?

Why are we building new walls to divide us? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
We chart the routes of, and reasons for, the barriers which are once again dividing populations
Nancy Watson's insight:

This was the subject of an FRQ not long ago. I guess we would need to expand the rubric today 

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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A very good sign that North Korea is bluffing about war

A very good sign that North Korea is bluffing about war | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

If Pyongyang is as bent on war as it wants us to believe, why is it keeping the inter-Korean Kaesong industrial complex open?

 


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Jusvic Dublois & Cooper Baddley's curator insight, October 27, 2014 9:06 PM

 This falls under politics. This article says that North Korea is probley bluffing on going to war with us. They are saying that why would you keep the inter korean industrial complex open if they where. This is in Pyongyang North Korea

Anthony morales's curator insight, October 28, 2014 12:39 PM

korea wants to start a war but are bluffing because they are leaving one of there main nueclar factories open and not closed off 

 This is a part of PERSIA by this ties in with economy by how Kim Jong lil has to decide what happens in this country

AnthonyAcosta/NoahMata's curator insight, November 5, 2014 1:32 PM

North Korea War

 

The North Korean leader is showing that he is pro war but the actions that he is taking lead us to believe that he is "All Talk". Does he really feel that war is the best option at this point or does he just want to seem like he is the best.  

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Israel - Gaza conflict

Israel - Gaza conflict | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.

 

"Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets."  This photo essay shows 34 powerful images that are emerging from this deadly conflict.  If students need some background to understand who are the major players in this conflict, this glossary should be helpful. 


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Wen Shi's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:17 AM

I was so shocked while reading this ariticle and seeing those pictures. The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is something that is deeply rooted in the history of the two nations. And the war, resulted by this conflict, has taken away many people's lives. The 2 countries's people are suffering. Many kids are just at our ages, they could not get education or anything else that we take for granted here, even had to bear the pain of losing relatives and homes. I could never imagine how sad and disastrous wars can be. :(

Hossan Epiques Novelle's curator insight, July 13, 2014 4:58 AM

The two countries should take the chance to resolve the conflict amicably before the situation tips over and war is inevitable. The loss of lives resulting from the war would be pointless.

Zhiyang Liang's curator insight, July 13, 2014 12:02 PM

In my perspective, why does people will have a thought of eliminating prejudice is that prejudice can lead to unfair treatment or the violation of rights of individuals or groups of people just like the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

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5 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Borders

5 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Borders | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Where you find a border, you usually find somebody pissed off about it.

 

Disclaimer: This article is more glib and crude in its language than I typically post.  However there is some great insight in this article about the curiosities that can occur on the borders that merits inclusion here.  Enclaves, walls, roads, glaciers, and tables all play prominent roles in these 5 quirky borders. 


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Ms. Harrington's comment, July 24, 2012 6:48 PM
Wow, I never knew border issues like this existed! Some are strange, but they live with the issue, like Canusa and the Netherlands/Belgium. Some are high tension, like Pakistan and India. I guess some of these issues are inevitable, the border has to go somewhere, and people over hundreds of years have moved outward.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 25, 2012 7:09 PM
Although some of these boarders were established for security reasons, many more like the one along the American boarder seem to be constructed for more symbolic purposes as a physiological rather than a physical barrier.
Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, December 4, 2013 3:24 PM

Within this article the author said it well, referencing that although these borders just seem silly and "stupid" to us, those who live within these boundaries must have an incredibly frustrating life. Having to hop three-four borders to get to the mainland of your country sounds completely crazy. I'm glad I live in Rhode Island.

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ISIS: A New Threat

ISIS: A New Threat | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

In this lesson, students will:

Explore the role of ISIS in the Middle EastInterpret political cartoons on the U.S. response to ISISIdentify the techniques used by cartoonists to express political opinionMonitor the news media coverage of ISIS over time
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 20, 2015 12:29 PM

The Choices Program produces some great materials and this is from their Teaching with the News series.  The newest in the series is a resource guide for the terrorist attacks in Paris.  


Tags:  political, terrorism, conflict, geopolitics, ISIS, Choices.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, November 27, 2015 4:32 PM

Guerras

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Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State

Mosul Dam key win for Islamic State | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Islamic State's capture of the Mosul dam gives it control over the water and electricity supply in northern Iraq."


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Nancy Watson's insight:

Geography plays an important part in the success or failure of a state. This gives the insurgents an advantage.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 30, 2014 10:00 PM

This is interesting, ISIS is not only using brute force as a scare tactic, but are also taking hold of natural resources as well.  In taking over the dam ISIS has control of not only a majority of Iraq's water supply but their power supply as well.  They are also threatening employees with loss of pay to do what they want.  Closing off some parts of the dam is preventing water to get to people who are in need.  If the dam was to get backed up too much it could have immediate failure creating a devastating flood wiping out areas of agriculture having the potential for mass civilian casualties.  ISIS is not just taking over everything that they can, but have a method to what they are doing.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 2015 8:14 PM

As the director of the Brookings Institution's Doha Centre in Qatar said, "There's a method in their madness. By gaining control of the area ISIS can flood and destroy homes within the region. Furthermore, they can disrupt the flow of electricity and how the land is irrigated. All of this could cause a great deal of damage to the society. In this light the dam is a pretty important part of Iraq. The fact that ISIS Manipulated he land to their benefit it highly intelligent.  


However, if the dam was in the hand of the United States, the area still isn't completely safe. people would perceive it to be because ISIS would no longer be threatening to use it as an immediate weapon. However, the author noticed that the dam needs constant maintenance and is built on unstable soil. Both of which can cause flooding. In fact, the "worst case scenario" would cause far more damage than ISIS has with the dam. 


Clearly, purposefully using the resources of an area to damage a population is more chilling the a poorly made structure because malice involved. However even in the hands of the United States, the dam shows just how dangerous manipulating nature can be on a local population. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:21 PM

This will have an enormous impact on drought for drinking, agriculture purposes or even the opposite.  This strategy could be used to flood the lands ruining agriculture.

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China publishes new map

China publishes new map | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
China has published a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) in order to "better show" its territorial claim over the region.

Via Seth Dixon
Nancy Watson's insight:

It seems that claims are often made to reinforce political claims. conflicting claims are difficult to resolve 

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 2015 9:44 PM

Not only does China have a strong economic system and the high population in the world, but they also claim South China Sea. Also since they are wealthy, then they hire maritime security to make sure other areas such as the Philippines and Malaysia don't attempt to take over China's seas. Also, the Philippines attempts to battle China over oil and natural gases but they fail against China because China's more populated than the Philippines. The main point of this map is to show how much of the ocean and sea China claims and they claim about 18% of water out of their land population.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 23, 2015 1:09 PM

This map exemplifies how different countries have differing impressions of land/territory that they own. China views itself as this image depicted above. They honestly believe it. As ridiculous as it sounds I do understand why. China owns this region of the world and will continue to do so. They are claiming land and even forming new land throughout the South China Sea. What is important about the creating of land mass is that China then controls 200 nautical miles around whatever they construct. There is nothing the neighboring countries in the region can do about it. China knows it is a dominant military power and intimidates other countries.

For example, the island of Taiwan is claimed by China as a province. China does not recognize the "Republic of China" (ROC) which governs Taiwan and used to govern mainland China prior to the Chinese Civil War. China has even threatened the island with military use if the people openly declare a massive independent movement. There is a lot more to this history, more than a scoop can provide for, however in a nutshell, Taiwan is China's and will continue to be so. 

In another region of China bordering India and Pakistan, which conveys the expansive territory China covers as a country and its various neighboring countries, China is yet claiming another piece of land. As if the dispute between India and Pakistan was not great enough the two countries also differ over territory just north of the Kashmir border region. China also believes this territory is theirs, now making the land up for grabs between the three nations. China may or may not have historical ties that link it to this piece of land. But in either case it certainly views this territory as an area of land that is open for taking, in that it could eventually claim the territory as a whole. What would Pakistan and India do? These two countries have enough going on. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:55 AM

At first when looking at this map, it seems just about right knowing that China is a huge territorial country, but we also see that this map, when compared to an older map, is different. In this map, we can see that the islands on the West, China has claimer part of there territory. This is simply an analysis of how China seeks geopolitical power over these islands. The map shows China’s claim over the South China Sea by marking ten dash lines around the region just off the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines’ islands of Palawan and Luzon. These are all individual countries, that have there own culture, language, separate of that of China. The difference between this issue and perhaps that of Catalonia seeking independence over Spain, is that these countries like Malaysia and Brunei are already territorial countries. China is simply showing that they have the power to declare this map, even if its not true. 




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Violence escalates in divided Venezuela

Violence escalates in divided Venezuela | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several cities on Thursday in an escalation of protests against President Nicolas

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 12, 2015 1:36 PM

Violent government protesting is on the rise and its mostly led by students. The citizens of Venezuela are protesting the socialist government, led by president Nicolas Maduro. Since his election in April 2013 he has been blamed for violent crime, high inflation, product shortages and repression of opponents, like a dictatorship.  protesting has escalated causing Venezuelan security forces to create burning barricades in the streets. over the last week there has been 5 recorded deaths.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 11:15 AM

I remember first reading about the Venezuelan riots while taking a course in Latin American history, and it saddens me to see the violence taking place in Caracas and in other urban areas. However, the demonstrations continuing to be made by students in the face of violence from their government is incredibly inspiring. These educated young men and women are dying for the simple right to be governed fairly and responsibly within the framework of a larger democratic society; I say "simple" in the sense that this is something I take for granted everyday. However, the history of the world has shown that achieving this standard of living is anything but simple, and Venezuela's government crackdown is just the latest on a lengthy list of such conflicts between a government and its own people. My heart goes out to those rebelling against the current system, one where those in power cling to power in any means possible in order to continue the corruption that brings them so much wealth. What these students are fighting for is admirable, and I hope that the government hears their voices and realizes that it is fighting a lost cost. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 12:53 PM

if this was going on in the us there would be pretty constant gun battles in every street. it seems to me that if the people in this country are opposed to their government and the government is insistent that nothing be done then the country is going to go even more to hell then Venezuela already has.

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Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Residents of rural areas feel shut out of their states' politics, so why not create their own?

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Heather Ramsey's curator insight, November 18, 2013 2:25 PM

On election day this year, several Colorado counties voted on whether to secede from Colorado and create a new state. Many of the counties voted in favor of the idea. (See the link below for more info on the Colorado secession movement.) This is not the first time groups of Americans have considered (and voted on) breaking away from their state. When political issues come up and decisions are made by the government and/or the people, some get their way and others do not. The article explains one way that some people have decided to take action when they do not feel their interests are being served.

 

BONUS for my students:

1) What steps do you think should be taken before people consider seceding from their state?  

2) What are some possible pros and cons of breaking away from a state to create a new one?  

3) Hypothetically speaking, what would it take for you to want to create a new state?

 

Here is the link to the article about Colorado's secession movement:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/colorado-rural-voters-approve-secession-idea-20850962

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:43 PM

Some states urban and rural areas have had differences and beliefs when it comes to politics. For example Virginia and West Virginia have had their differences and this is what has caused them to seperate. If every state did this there would be too much craziness because im sure each state would have a different belief and nobody would agree on anything. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 1, 2014 7:57 PM

This article is about segments of California, Colorado, and Oregon wanting to separate and become their own states so their voices can be heard in Congress.

 

If, hypothetically, new states were formed out of existing ones this kind of gerrymandering would likely only lead to even more new states. It might even lead to a secession arms race to gain more Democrat and Republican seats in the Senate. With so many new states, it could lead to increased division, with no Democrat or Republican wanting to set foot in an opposition’s state. In the long run though, political affiliations do eventually change and we would have a precedent analogous to attempting to take the ball home when the other kids don't want to play the same game as you, which is not how a democratic republic works.

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Syrian refugees update 2013

Syrian refugees update 2013 | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Another refugee camp opened today in Mrajeeb al-Fhood, Jordan, to accommodate the reported 1,500 to 2,000 Syrians fleeing to Jordan daily.  Just over a year ago the Big Picture posted an entry of the growing number of people displaced due to the conflict that now has lasted over two years. The United Nations recently said a total of around 7,000 to 8,000 Syrians are leaving their country daily; there are 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more have been displaced inside Syria since the start of the conflict. Posted here is another glimpse of daily life for those displaced since the beginning of this year." 


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MAANDO_PROTOTYPE's curator insight, March 13, 2014 6:19 PM

http://syria-freedom-2014.tumblr.com/
FREEDOM GRAFFiTi WEEK Syria ... MAANDO...PROTOTYPE
#Syria #MAANDO #PROTOTYPE #SYRIAN

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 3:13 PM

Conflicts in Syria have led almost 4 million refugees to displace to Jordan. Refugee camps have been set up to aid these families the best ways possible. although conditions are still tough, they are much safer than in Syria. These photos embrace the combinations of struggle and joy. Children cry and children play. Families create homes within the tents and make due with what they have.

Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:21 PM

It’s great to know the many good things people are trying to do to protect some of their citizens. When looking at the pictures, there obviously wasn’t much of a home aspect to their living situation but it’s great to know that they seem to be happier where they are now to where they were before. The picture with the Syrian refugee little boy shaking hands with an Emirati Red Crescent is priceless. The smile on that little boys face touched me and I could feel the happiness with his smile. The facts that the citizens have a choice to leave for a better environment is great and knowing there is a happier ending for them is great. The picture with the kids playing and smiling is also great. As a student going to school to become an elementary school teacher it’s astonishing in the happiness these kids get from playing with nothing. Very different to how children are raised here in the US. But great to know how there happiness can one day be restored since leaving.

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Gaza-Israel crisis 2012: every verified incident mapped

Gaza-Israel crisis 2012: every verified incident mapped | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

This map shows each verified incident of violence in Gaza and Israel since last week's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed al-Jabari.  Geospatial technologies combined with social media are changing how we learn about (and wage) wars. 

 


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The Separatist Map of Africa

The Separatist Map of Africa | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.

 

This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state.  Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.   

 

Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.


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Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Unit IV - Non American

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:04 AM

is sad to see how people just refer to it as "Africa" when every part has its own name. Even myself don't know many of them since they are irrelevant for the western people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:08 AM

This interactive map does a great job of not only showing the sate of political struggles and military conflict within the whole of Africa. This shows the new countries many dissidents  and rebels wish to establish in order to give their people a cultural and ethnic home land. This give a good picture of simply how chaotic some parts of Africa truly are and how destabilized many regions are.