The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance (RIGEA) is commited to promoting geographic education and geo-literacy in the Ocean State. You can join the Alliance for free to receive newsletters and updates. We encourage you to visit our main website as well as our various social media profiles.
I was just informed that our proposal to receive a Giant Traveling Map from National Geographic was accepted! Last year we had the South America map come to Rhode Island, and several schools found it to be a great event. We’ll be receiving the map of Africa that comes with an excellent set of resources on how to interactively teach, explore, learn and play with this specific map as a part of your curriculum. This map will soon be coming to Rhode Island March 11th to the 26th and the Alliance wants to make this accessible to as many RIGEA members as possible. For schools with 4 RIGEA members, this map can be rented for a free of charge for the first day with any additional days at a rate of $150 per day. Remember that it’s free for teachers, administrators and parents to sign up to become RIGEA members—consider this your chance to recruit them for a good cause for your school AND the Alliance. For schools without 4 RIGEA members, they can still rent the map for $150 per day. Click here for more details.
"This is a set of 13 map-based lessons developed by the Virginia Geographic Alliance. These lessons are designed to show how ancient world history (before 1500 A.D.) was influenced by geographic factors."
Seth Dixon's insight:
This is a great set of map-based lessons that used layered PDFs that teachers can download to simulate GIS layers without needing any GIS software of technical know-how.
"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."
I love living in New England and finding stonewalls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn (who grew up in Rhode Island) is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape. This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines. Yes, this is history and archaeology, but you better believe that it's geographic as well.
I recently received this question and immediately thought that this is a great geographic question, but one that geographic tools can be used to find the answer. I downloaded all the Rhode Island names listed by the United States Board on Geographic Names and filtered out all the listed Islands (108 is the answer!!). A spreadsheet of data isn't as helpful to visualize this data so I created this interactive map. Only 1 of the locations didn't have coordinates, some are scarcely more than rocks, and this is only according to the the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, but this is the most complete map of islands in the state of Rhode Island that I could produce. Additionally, here is an article about some sailors who sought to explore every island of the Narragansett Bay.
"Thanksgiving has some fascinating spatial components to it. My wife and I prepared an article for the Geography News Network on Maps101.com that shows the historical and geographic context of the first Thanksgiving and in the memorialization of Thanksgiving as a national holiday (if you don’t subscribe to Maps 101, it is also freely available as a podcast on Stitcher Radio or iTunes)."
One of my favorite combinations of maps for Thanksgiving involves the geography of food production and food consumption. When we start looking at the regional dishes on Thanksgiving plates we can see some great patterns. This ESRI storymap asks the simple question, where did your Thanksgiving Dinner come From?
This StoryMap is a great resource to combine with this New York Times article that shows the regional preferences for the most popular Thanksgiving recipes. Where are sweet potatoes grown? Where do people make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving?
Plymouth County, MA is at the heart of only 3 cranberry producing regions and is was also home to the first Thanksgiving. How has this New England local ecology and traditional food patterns influenced national traditions?
For these and more Thanksgiving resources on scoop.it, click here.
This is a fantastic interactive map that compares aerial photography in the Ocean State from 3 different time periods. Pictured above is Rocky Point which was a vibrant locale in the 1972 imagery, but shows signs of disrepair and total abandonment in the 2011 color imagery. Interpreting aerial photography and satellite imagery is not easy; here is a gret article that shows a beginner how to interpret satellite imagery so they aren't just pretty pictures, but data sources. This is a similar interactive map; it compares satellite imageryfrom three different time periods, but it is accessing a global data set.
The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week’s powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn’t getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.
"Its absolute bedlam right now," says Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross. “There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction.”
According to the BBC, a huge international relief effort is underway, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.
This computer lab-based professional development workshop is designed to train someone with LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE how to use free online mapping tools in a classroom setting. This is open to educators from all grade levels and subjects; one of the strands of the training will be on sustainable agriculture, locally grown (the theme of this year’s Envirothon). In this training participants will be able to:
Get resources on the best available online maps for the classroom.
Create online maps that can be used in the classroom.
Prepare their students to create their own online maps.
The registration fee is $10 (pay at the door); with limited seating we ask that you reserve your spot by simply emailing an RSVP to email@example.com.
WHEN: October 26th, 2013 9am-12pm
WHERE: Rhode Island College, Alger Hall 101(see campus map).
"As carbon pollution continues to drive global climate change and wreak havoc on our environment, the Obama Administration recently proposed limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. Here are 9 reasons why I care about climate change and why I support President Obama’s plan to address it."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Rhode Island has a great advocate in environmental management and sustainability in U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. In his public outreach to convince people to believe climate change science, he produced this Buzzfeed list. The beauty of this list is that is both locally nuanced and globally aware (that's practical usage of scale, a key geographic --local impacts from global patterns).
Next week, a delegation representing RIGEA will go to Washington D.C. to advocate for geography education. 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?
It will help our cause immensely if the Members of Congress that I meet with have already heard from constituents about the importance of geography education, and about the existence of the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act. 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.
"Alliance Coordinator Seth Dixon shares over 50 of his favorite geography videos in this interactive map http://bit.ly/KDY6C2 "
Seth Dixon's insight:
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.
As we reflect on 2013 and prepare for 2014, I've compiled 35 posts that were helpful to me in my classroom (see page 1 and page 2). These are resources that I enjoyed curating or producing. They might not be the best or the most important for your particular interests, but I look forward to continue curating this site and sharing valuable tidbits to geography educators in 2014.
The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will provide 24 U.S. teachers and administrators with a fully-funded opportunity to travel to Japan to learn about ESD efforts and strengthen ESD curricula in both countries. You could be one of those educators! Application deadline in January 14th. ESD is “a vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions and respect for the earth’s natural resources,” according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
I had the shapefile of the various neighborhoods of Providence and the good folks at "Click that 'Hood" were gracious enough to upload it and make a local quiz based on the the 25 neighborhoods of Providence (as defined by the city government officials). In addition to city neighborhood quizzes, they also have quizzes for regions such as Africa, South America and Europe. This is a crowd-sourced database, so if you have the right data, you can help them to create more online quizzes.
Thank you to all participants, teachers and parents who helped to promote this mapping challenge and geo-literacy. We are pleased to announce the top two winners in our 2013 Map Challenge Contest in conjunction with Geography Awareness Week 2013 here in Rhode Island.
Mrs. Lepre's 7th Grade Geography Class (Mount Saint Charles Academy, Woonsocket) Winter Olympics 2014 MegaMap
Ms. Taglione's 6th Grade Social Studies Student Team (Barrington Middle School) Eytan Goldstein, Amit Bhatia and Nikhil Pareek--Revolutionary War Map of RI's Struggle for Freedom
Sophia and Benjamin Lepre--Walt Disney Map of Favorite Characters.
Geography Awareness Week is right around the corner (Nov. 18-22)! The Theme is GEOGRAPHY AND THE NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION. Here are some resources that you can use in your own classroom, in your home or anywhere with eager geo-enthusiasts.
Volunteers across the world are building the digital infrastructure for the organization's Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts
Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action? Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency. Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are hardest hit by natural disasters. Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets. Can you join in and help?
Geography and the ELA Common Core State Standards are not enemies...this presentation is designed to show how they both can support each other and offer students a richer educational experience. Presentation given by Seth Dixon at Bridgewater State University Nov. 2, 2013.
With Halloween right around the corner, the Salem Witch trials loom large in the collective American psyche. While many emphasize the supernatural and the scandalous, this Maps 101 podcast (based on the article written by Julie Dixon and yours truly) gives the geographic and historic context to understand the tragedy of the 1692 witch trials.