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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Making Sense of Maps

TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.

 

This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).

 

Tags: transportation, urban, mapping, cartography, planning, TED, video, unit 7 cities.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:42 PM
When trying to graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your particular audience, you will have a lot to take into consideration. How familiar are the travelers with the area you map out? Are there visuals to precisely mark on the map so that will they accurately correspond to the area?
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What is GIS?

This is a brief introduction to what geographic information systems are.  This is not a tutorial on how to use it, but a conceptual overview on the potential uses and applications for GIS.  

 

Tags: GIS, video, Unit 1 GeoPrinciples, geospatial, mapping and location.


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CT Blake's curator insight, September 28, 2014 10:55 AM

Useful for understanding the use of GIS and differences with GPS.

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What are Continents?

This is not as straightforward a question as you might think. 


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Pangaea

Pangaea - the idea of Pangaea and some of the evidence behind it... 

 

This is a video produced by Khan Academy, which is a key resource and proponent for the 'flipped classroom.'  While they do not have many human geography resources (math is their specialty) they do have several video designed for teaching physical geography including this one that covers


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Michelle Winemiller's curator insight, January 22, 2015 2:22 PM

great source with the video information and fossil evidence for students to get good reinforcement

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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:13 PM

i mainly find it amazing that slavery is still so commonplace in parts of the world. whether it is "illegal" or not is irrelivent in these parts of the world and child labor and slavery is such a dominating force in labor.

8A JonathanS's curator insight, February 16, 2017 7:55 AM
This article and YouTube clip is talking about the child labor and modern slavery going on in West Africa. These regions are mostly used for cocoa bean plantations and harvesting. The guy leading this investigation also interviews people who are in charge of the chocolate making factories and asks them where the cocoa beans come from. Almost everyone answers, "the Ivory Coast" and have no idea what so ever what is actually going on there. They just order the amount of beans needed and have no clue what children have to go through to provide these people what they need. In this documentary they also interview some of the children having to go through this and it's very terrible and wrong. These children get taken away from their homes to work and get tricked that they're getting payed even though they don't get anything for all they do. In this clip I also get to see what the owners of the cocoa bean plantations say about what's going on and all the lies are just so silly and I cant believe what their thinking and why they're doing this.

This article connects a lot to what we've been working with in class. We even saw this movie about cocoa farms spread all over Wast Africa and this movie basically talked about the same things the other movie talked about. I enjoyed this movie a lot. Even though the information given was very sad and heart breaking I learned a lot of new things about the conditions of these slaves and and what they actually have to go through to please their "master" and how sad their lives are. When seeing this movie I just felt so bad and I just feel like I want to help these people so much.  
Ping Ping W's curator insight, February 15, 11:33 PM

“Although slavery is no longer legal, there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa…”  Even though cocoa drinks are very delicious, have you ever stop to consider where how and who collected them? Here’s how they do it: slavery. It is still very common on cocoa plantations in West Africa. Children are smuggled from all over Africa (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, etc), then, they are placed on remote, isolated plantations. Also, thirty-five percent of world’s chocolate is produced by slave labour.

 

This helped me better understand Africa by informing me about how children were kidnapped and force to work...some children work at such a young age too. Before doing this research, I didn’t know how Cocoa even came to be! However, now that I know that children slavery was how cocoa was produced, it made me wonder if the factory knew? All the factory that bought their cocoa from Africa, do they know this is how they’re getting their products? And if they do, why don’t they do anything to stop children slavery or pay the workers at least? I think that cocoa factories in Africa must have really low budgets, or else they wouldn’t be kidnapping kids or adults to do the work in the form of modern slavery (without paying them too). 

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Agriculture: Back to the Start

Coldplay's haunting classic 'The Scientist' is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, "Back to the St...

 

Sure this is an animated commercial for Chipotle Grill, but this perfectly encapsulates the beliefs, values and ethics that underscore the organic farming movement. 


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Aurora Rider's curator insight, October 24, 2014 10:14 AM

Sure this is a Chipotle commercial but is does a good job at showing the belief that we should go back to the old way of farming. The video shows a family farm being taken over by what appears to be some big corporation. Upon being taken over, the animals are confined in small compartments and injected by what appears to be antibiotics and some other unknown substance. The factories they are sent to are polluting the place. The farmer sees all of this and decides to go back to the start.

jada_chace's curator insight, October 26, 2014 7:17 PM

In the video it shows how the world has evolved in the way that humans take action on Mother Nature’s ways. In the beginning, there was a small family farm that was growing crops and animals. Shortly after that, it showed how small family farms are being taken over by the big agribusinesses. In today’s society that tends to happen more and more, which can be both good and bad on our economy. Unless people don’t make a change about the way we treat our food, nothing in our economy is going to get better. 

Cassie Brannan's curator insight, December 9, 2014 10:21 PM

This animated film shows you what agriculture is really like. Sometimes it is difficult to be a farmer because of all of the climate changes. When the weather changes off and on, it can kill the crops, making it harder for farmers to find food. So as you can see, farmers go through a lot and it take a lot of hard work to be a successful farmer.

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FARM-Africa Cassava project

A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...

 

The Green Revolution is (belatedly) impacting Africa.  Notice the cultural environment within which agriculture takes place here.   What are the gendered differences in the production of food?  What impact does that have on society?


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:29 PM
Wow not just the men in the video are working this hard, but women and children as well. It makes you think how much we have as Americans and how much we take everything for granted. These African people are tough, they have to do so much more to survive than we do.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 7, 2012 10:46 AM
This video helps us to see the innovative ways African farmers use Cassava. Cassava is a market crop that many African people are dependent on. They know in order to achieve an income from the crop they need to market it in different varieties, for example- to turn it in to flour. Cassava is labor intensive crop that can take up to a year to be at it's full potential, but the people, women and children included, know that they need to tend to the crop in every stage to insure its success. With the income from the crop, families are able to send their children to school.
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Food, Nutrition and Geography

Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...

 

This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods.  He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from.  Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet.  This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.'  Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video. 


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The Authoritative Map

In the Winnie the Pooh Movie "Pooh's Grand Adventure," the character Rabbit has absolute confidence in the printed word and especially the map. 

Questions to ponder:  How much do we trust any given map?  How much should we trust a map (or the printed word)?  What makes a document reliable or unreliable?  

 

Tags: mapping, perspective, K12, video. 

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Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
An amazing 26-second video depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880.

This quick visualization is a excellent summary of the data of anthropogenic climate change.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:09 AM

I wonder why the climate is changing so much it seems to be devastating. It can probably affect a lot of people because many people depend on a certain type of weather to grow food or do anything else that involves the weather like going for a swim in a pool or lake. The weather is something that many people need and depend on. Many people want the heat because they cant be in a cold area or vise versa. 

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 12, 2013 7:13 PM

A great visual dispay showing how tempetures have flucuated over the past 130 years and the futer implications of climate change today. Thoughout the video it shows how the tempeture is chaging (rising and falling) all acorss the board. However you cleary see at the end that tempeture stop flucuating and only contiues to rise. While over all it is only a 1 or 2 dagree differnce, its clear that if we go 80 years with a stable tempture and then it starts to only get warmer that weve got a climate change problam on our hands. 

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This is Our Planet

The best thing about the space program is all the satellite imagery we receive to better understand our home planet. 


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 9, 2012 11:06 AM
The view seemed almost surreal. Beautiful.
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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:13 PM

i mainly find it amazing that slavery is still so commonplace in parts of the world. whether it is "illegal" or not is irrelivent in these parts of the world and child labor and slavery is such a dominating force in labor.

8A JonathanS's curator insight, February 16, 2017 7:55 AM
This article and YouTube clip is talking about the child labor and modern slavery going on in West Africa. These regions are mostly used for cocoa bean plantations and harvesting. The guy leading this investigation also interviews people who are in charge of the chocolate making factories and asks them where the cocoa beans come from. Almost everyone answers, "the Ivory Coast" and have no idea what so ever what is actually going on there. They just order the amount of beans needed and have no clue what children have to go through to provide these people what they need. In this documentary they also interview some of the children having to go through this and it's very terrible and wrong. These children get taken away from their homes to work and get tricked that they're getting payed even though they don't get anything for all they do. In this clip I also get to see what the owners of the cocoa bean plantations say about what's going on and all the lies are just so silly and I cant believe what their thinking and why they're doing this.

This article connects a lot to what we've been working with in class. We even saw this movie about cocoa farms spread all over Wast Africa and this movie basically talked about the same things the other movie talked about. I enjoyed this movie a lot. Even though the information given was very sad and heart breaking I learned a lot of new things about the conditions of these slaves and and what they actually have to go through to please their "master" and how sad their lives are. When seeing this movie I just felt so bad and I just feel like I want to help these people so much.  
Ping Ping W's curator insight, February 15, 11:33 PM

“Although slavery is no longer legal, there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa…”  Even though cocoa drinks are very delicious, have you ever stop to consider where how and who collected them? Here’s how they do it: slavery. It is still very common on cocoa plantations in West Africa. Children are smuggled from all over Africa (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, etc), then, they are placed on remote, isolated plantations. Also, thirty-five percent of world’s chocolate is produced by slave labour.

 

This helped me better understand Africa by informing me about how children were kidnapped and force to work...some children work at such a young age too. Before doing this research, I didn’t know how Cocoa even came to be! However, now that I know that children slavery was how cocoa was produced, it made me wonder if the factory knew? All the factory that bought their cocoa from Africa, do they know this is how they’re getting their products? And if they do, why don’t they do anything to stop children slavery or pay the workers at least? I think that cocoa factories in Africa must have really low budgets, or else they wouldn’t be kidnapping kids or adults to do the work in the form of modern slavery (without paying them too). 

Rescooped by Elisha Upton from Geography Education
Scoop.it!

Agriculture: Back to the Start

Coldplay's haunting classic 'The Scientist' is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, "Back to the St...

 

Sure this is an animated commercial for Chipotle Grill, but this perfectly encapsulates the beliefs, values and ethics that underscore the organic farming movement. 


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Aurora Rider's curator insight, October 24, 2014 10:14 AM

Sure this is a Chipotle commercial but is does a good job at showing the belief that we should go back to the old way of farming. The video shows a family farm being taken over by what appears to be some big corporation. Upon being taken over, the animals are confined in small compartments and injected by what appears to be antibiotics and some other unknown substance. The factories they are sent to are polluting the place. The farmer sees all of this and decides to go back to the start.

jada_chace's curator insight, October 26, 2014 7:17 PM

In the video it shows how the world has evolved in the way that humans take action on Mother Nature’s ways. In the beginning, there was a small family farm that was growing crops and animals. Shortly after that, it showed how small family farms are being taken over by the big agribusinesses. In today’s society that tends to happen more and more, which can be both good and bad on our economy. Unless people don’t make a change about the way we treat our food, nothing in our economy is going to get better. 

Cassie Brannan's curator insight, December 9, 2014 10:21 PM

This animated film shows you what agriculture is really like. Sometimes it is difficult to be a farmer because of all of the climate changes. When the weather changes off and on, it can kill the crops, making it harder for farmers to find food. So as you can see, farmers go through a lot and it take a lot of hard work to be a successful farmer.

Scooped by Elisha Upton
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Defining an Independent Nation

Defining an Independent Nation | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
While the terms country, state, and nation are often used interchangeably, there is a difference.

 

A straightforward explanation of important vocabulary terms for a political geography unit. 

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 10:54 PM

(Europe topic 6)

The contrast between these 3 terms (and combinations of them) has always been confusing to me, and I'd assume many others as well. Though this video explains fairly well the differences in definitions, I don't think that they have been consistently used as accurately as possible. Though terms like United Nations and the Navajo Nation seem to make sense to me, "one nation under God," as taken from the  Allegiance, might arguably be a technicality. Though the American spirit can be considered to have formed its own nation, there is undoubtedly a multitude of nations within (or at least partially in) the United States. (I'm not disagreeing with the phrase, but just thought it was worth mentioning during this time when the world has changed so much since its inception) Also, what is considered a nation by one group is not necessarily acknowledged by another, and this is what can lead to miscommunications, loss in translation, and arguably tensions, with the Middle East serving as a good example.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:04 PM

This short video does a great job of explaining the differences between these terms. Often they are wrongly used interchangeably while in reality they have distinct meanings and cannot simply be swapped out for another.

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FARM-Africa Cassava project

A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...

 

The Green Revolution is (belatedly) impacting Africa.  Notice the cultural environment within which agriculture takes place here.   What are the gendered differences in the production of food?  What impact does that have on society?


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:29 PM
Wow not just the men in the video are working this hard, but women and children as well. It makes you think how much we have as Americans and how much we take everything for granted. These African people are tough, they have to do so much more to survive than we do.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 7, 2012 10:46 AM
This video helps us to see the innovative ways African farmers use Cassava. Cassava is a market crop that many African people are dependent on. They know in order to achieve an income from the crop they need to market it in different varieties, for example- to turn it in to flour. Cassava is labor intensive crop that can take up to a year to be at it's full potential, but the people, women and children included, know that they need to tend to the crop in every stage to insure its success. With the income from the crop, families are able to send their children to school.
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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.