Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ms Mind’s Wonderings: A Geonerd of the highest order!

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
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Sydney: S: 34º 0' E: 151º 0'

Ms Mind’s Wonderings: A Geonerd of the highest order!

On this blog over the years I have profiled individuals who are making a significant contribution to the mission of using technology in a meaningful way in the teaching of geography. These people have included George Dailey, Mick Law, Roger and Anita Palmer  and Joseph Kerski. I thought it was time to add to this list Bec Nicholas, an outstanding young (anyone under 35 teaching geography is young!) geography teacher from Queensland. As well as being AGTA Secretary, Bec is a dedicated and innovative teacher at a Brisbane secondary school. The purpose of this posting is not just to praise Bec but to guide the reader to her wonderful blog titled, Mind’s Wonderings. On her blog Bec documents all her links, resources, professional learning activities and thinking on the use of technology (not only spatial technology) in the geography classroom - in fact humanities classroom.  I had the good fortune last Friday of getting Bec to travel to Adelaide to present at a professional learning day for geography teachers. The evaluations of the day were almost 100% in agreement that the materials and manner she presented these materials was 10 out of 10. In fact, Bec puts all her presentations on the Mind’s Wonderings blog and it is certainly worth going to the blog to have a look. Bec ran through her top 10 Web 2.0 sites and gave some practical advice on how to use them in the classroom.

My mind boggles when I think about how exciting geography would be for students if we could clone such a Geonerd as Bec and plant them in geography classrooms around Australia.  I am sure, as the professional learning for geography rolls out around Australia, Bec will play a huge role in “turning-on” teachers to the range of tools available to the humanities teacher to motivate, engage and inspire students to do some great geography.  I really recommend that you have a look at the Mind’s Wonderings site and have a play with technology in the classroom in the Geonerd way.  Well done Bec, you are a star!

Follow Bec on Twitter - @geographynerd - or look at the GTAQ Facebook page for updates on great links for Geography teachers.
Here are just some of the sites Bec showcased in her whirlwind of ideas and “how cool is that” presentation. If you want more details on the sites listed and Bec’s thinking just go to Mind’s Wonderings blog.
Many of these sites use the basic skills and tools of a GIS program, but are available free and online.

Google Maps for Educators
Contour Education has a great links page but also a YouTube channel.

Bec’s Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools in the Geography Classroom

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