Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Geography Awareness Week

This week is Geography Awareness Week. During Geography Awareness Week National Geographic Magazine and other organisations try to raise the awareness of the importance of geography education.

Google for Educators have produced a special page with some exciting geo-tours for Google Earth. Here are some more websites you might want to check out if you want to inspire some kids with neo-geography:

Digital Geography

Noel Jenkins’ blog is all about using new technologies in the Geography curriculum. Neil is the winner of the UK's Royal Geographical Society Award for ‘Contributions to excellence in the teaching of Geography at secondary level'. So, as you might expect, his blog is full of inspirational ideas for the geography classroom.

Juicy Geography
Noel is also the author of Juicy Geography. Juicy Geography has free ideas and resources for teaching geography. The site includes a great a lesson that gets students to describe places they know on Wikimapia and there are lots of lessons built around Google Earth files (which can of course be viewed in Google Maps as well).

I particularly like the idea for a psycho-geography project. Noel's students found out from some questionnaire research that people in the local community were quite negative about their town, so his students made a simple sign and persuaded shop-keepers to display it.



Digital Explorer
Digital Explorer is a social enterprise set up to pioneer new ways of engaging young people in global and environmental issues through the application of technology. The website includes classroom resources for the Antarctic Climate, Antarctic Foodweb, Land Use - Marrakech, a
School Grounds Projects and a Sustainable Building project.

Soar Valley Geography
This website displays the work of student geographers in the Soar Valley. These students used Google My Maps to map their worlds.

Google Lit Trips
Google Lit Trips creates Google Earth kml files that plot the journeys taken in works of literature. The Google Earth files can of course be viewed in Google Maps. For example here is the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce as viewed in Google Maps

Bionic Teaching
Inspired by Google Lit Trips Tom Woodward mapped out Whirligig by Paul Fleischman on Google Maps to help inspire his students.

The Google Earth Education Community

This is a website for teachers and students to share and find information about educational topics that have been organised using Google Earth (hopefully you haven‘t forgotten that Google Earth files can also be viewed in Google Maps). All the resources are categorised by subject area.

Google Earth Design
A blog about good design in Google Earth which includes a lesson plan showing the causes and effects of global warming on flooding in the Brahmaputra.

Dale Basler
Dale Basler has posted about how he teaches speed, velocity and displacement using Google Maps. The students use Google Maps to map out bus routes, find the average time needed for the bus to make a complete circuit of the route, calculate the average speed of the bus and display the results on a Google Map.

KQED Quest
KQED Quest uses Google Maps to present a multimedia series exploring Northern California science, environment and nature. The materials on this site are incredibly well presented.

From Previous Posts
Teachers should also check out the Google Geo Education Section in the Google for Educators Discussion Group.

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