Sunday, July 22, 2012

Harvesting Internet resources and mapping their use against the Australian Curriculum: Geography



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Textbooks?

Harvesting Internet resources and mapping their use against the Australian Curriculum: Geography

In preparation for the introduction of the Australian Curriculum: Geography in 2013, textbook publishers are madly writing textbooks to align with the curriculum. Whilst textbooks have their place, with a 21st Century Curriculum we should consider that resourcing with current Internet sites should be the way to go. The GeogSpace resource recently introduced to Spatialworlds readers will be an excellent resource for schools to use when teaching the Australian Curriculum: Geography – and it will be free!  In fact, with the Internet there is a overwhelming plethora of free, high quality, contemporariness resources. A teacher can quite easily, with a bit of thought and time, build their geography programs around such free on-line geographically orientated sites.  Some of the sites are not created solely for education purposes but are easily translated into a learning resource for various sections of the Australian Curriculum: Geography. As I was gathering just a small selection of of these sites I found myself mentally mapping them against the content descriptions from the Australian Curriculum: Geography. For each of the sites I have made a suggestion (only a suggestion – could be many options) about what part of the Australian Curriculum: Geography the website resource could be used to develop a learning program.  For those with knowledge of the draft curriculum it would be an interesting and useful exercise to review sites showcased on previous Spatialworlds postings to see where they could be used with the Australian Curriculum: Geography. 
I must emphasise, these sites are just a random selection and are the tip of the iceberg of the free Internet resources available.  The Spatialworlds blog, as a repository of such sites, has showcased hundreds of such sites over the years and it seems to be no end to the number as new sites come on-line on a daily basis.  However, it is important to use critical literacy with such sites (who produces, is it reliable, is it biased, has it an agenda etc) - as a professional geographical educator such critiquing is in an important role we fulfil as we develop learning programs using Internet sites. 
Here are just a few sites mapped against the Australian Curriculum: Geography. Please note that the year level content identified and the names given to the units are from the draft ACARA documents and may change prior to publication.

Pupilvision is a 600 page website full of resources for pupils and teachers of geography. The website is well designed and easy to navigate and is well designed. It enables pupils to view lesson plans, homework and syllabuses; support revision; provide guidance from pupils on how to improve grades; access geography careers advice; submit homework and e-mail questions relating to homework; access a plethora of geography websites by links.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for all years of the Australian Curriculum: Geography
http://www.pupilvision.com/

GeoResources site provides weather data and outline maps to include in homework or projects, detailed case studies e.g. Kobe earthquake, UK National Parks and oil spills, Virtual Fieldwork (so that can you can visit sites and stay dry!), a photo gallery and a weekly GeoQuiz.
This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 5 and Year 7 (Water unit)   of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

TheMet Office site provides the latest information on the world's weather. It has a Curriculum Learning Centre that includes worksheets and classroom activities, leaflets to download and a "Did you know?" section. There is also a Teacher Training Centre that claims to help "to teach the curriculum effectively - in areas like the atmosphere, fronts and clouds". It also includes a bibliography and suggested essay questions.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 1, Year 5 and Year 9 (Biomes and Food Security unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

CIA World Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lists information under: 'Geography'; 'People'; 'Government'; 'Economy'; 'Transportation'; 'Communications' and 'Defence'. The section on Geography includes location, co-ordinates, area, land boundaries, coastline, climate, terrain, natural resources, land use, irrigated land and environment. Constantly updated this is one of the most important educational sites on the Internet.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 6, 7 (Places are for living unit) and 10 (Geographies of Human Well-being unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

NewInternationalist: Rivers is an impressive website that provides detailed information on the world's five longest rivers: Nile, Amazon, Yangtze, Ganges and the Zaire.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 8 Landscape and Landforms unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

VirtualWildlife is produced by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Sections include Polar Regions, Coniferous Forests, Temperate Forests, Grasslands, Tropical Forests, Mountains, Oceanic Islands, Freshwater Wetlands and Oceans. After reading a two-page description of the environment, students have the opportunity to research the wildlife from the chosen area.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Year 4 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

GlobalEarthquake Response Centre provides news on the latest earthquakes.  The website includes practical advice for schools about what to do if there is an earthquake in your area and resources for those who want to teach about the subject in the classroom. The website also provides links with other 'Earthquake Information Centres' and sites that are concerned with specific earthquakes. 
This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 8 Landscape and Landforms unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

TheTornado Project gathers, compiles, and makes tornado information available to weather enthusiasts, the meteorological community and emergency management officials. The company is using its website to share some of this information with the general public.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 7 Water unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/ provides the latest information on the pollution and abuse of the earth's ocean, land, air and fresh water. This includes press releases and overviews of their current campaigns. There is also a very useful archive section that contains articles, photographs and sound recordings on global environmental issues.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 4, 5 and the Year 10 (Environmental Change and Environmental Management unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

NationalGeographic Map Machine enables the viewer to select any country in the world. The map is displayed with national flag and other factual information such as: population, capital, main religions, languages, literacy rate and life expectancy. There are also sections on the country's history and economy. The Web Machine also has collections of 'Political' and 'Physical' maps. A recent addition is 'View From Above' that shows maps of countries based on satellite photographs.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 3-10 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Food Security Index is an interesting interactive site listing all the countries with supporting data
Video at http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Home/Methodology

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Years 9 Biomes and Food Security unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

EarthquakeKid Zone is a website that includes a quiz, crossword puzzle, word search games (for preparedness kits for cars, earthquake terms, and tsunamis), and answers to common earthquake questions for kids.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 8 Landscape and Landforms unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Infoplease: World Statistics http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004372.html enables students to compare data from different countries. The website provides information on population, unemployment, marriage, divorce, abortion, infant mortality, life expectancy, birth-rate, ownership of household appliances, GDP, exchange-rates and contraceptive use. Also sections on Worldwide Armed Conflicts and Counties with Nuclear Weapons Capability.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 6, 9 and 10 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Cool Planet offers information and resources to encourage young people's development as global citizens. The site contains easy-to-follow curriculum information for planning global citizenship activities using our highly regarded 'Teachers Guide to a Curriculum for Global Citizenship'.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 4, 6, 9 (Connection Geographies/Personal Geographies unit) and Year 10 (Geographies of Human Well-being unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

GeoResourcesPhoto Gallery provides digital photos to help with Geography presentations and activities etc?

This site would be useful to support the learning program for all year levels of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

US Geological Survey: Volcanoes   http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ provides information on Volcano Hazards, Location of Volcanoes, Types and Effects, Volcano Monitoring, Historical Eruptions, Warning Schemes, and Emergency Planning. There is also a weekly report of worldwide volcanic activity prepared by the USGS and the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 8 Landscapes and Landforms unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

All About Rainforests http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/rainforest/ provides a good overview of rainforests. It also includes an illustrated glossary and a list of rainforest links.
This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Years 4, 5 and 9 (Biomes and Food Security unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

NFUFarm Studies http://www.foodandfarming.org/indexb.php is a series of eight farm case studies. They all include detailed information, farm data, photographs, maps and other graphics. Being a UK, site all types of farming are covered from different areas of Scotland and England.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 9 Biomes and Food Security unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Adventure Learning Foundation http://www.questconnect.org/ is comprehensive site takes students and teachers, as virtual participants, on real and virtual expeditions around the world. Through a collection of original pictures and journal excerpts, visitors can follow in the footsteps of travellers exploring the natural environment, culture, and peoples of different continents. Past expeditions include Alaska and Yukon, Baja California, American Southwest, Southern Africa, Mexico and Peru. Each expedition is accompanied by a mixture of information, links, and classroom activities.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 2-10 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

GeographyOpen Directory is a definitive catalog of the Web. The Open Directory was founded in the spirit of the Open Source movement, and is the only major directory that is 100% free.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for all year levels of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Country Profiles http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/default.stm from the BBC website provides key facts, figures, timelines and dates on all the world's leading countries. There is also a quick guide and timeline on NATO and a chronology of key events concerning the Vatican and the history of the Commonwealth.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 2-10 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

InfoNatura is a source for conservation information on the birds and mammals of Latin America and the Caribbean. This website is a comprehensive source for conservation, distribution, and taxonomic information on over 5,500 common, rare, and endangered species in 44 countries and territories. InfoNatura is updated three times a year to include "new data from refined geographic surveys, the latest taxonomic treatments, and any new conservation status assessments." Future versions of the database will include amphibian and reptile data.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Years 4, 5, 9 (Biomes unit) and 10 (Environmental Change and Environmental Challenges unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

CountryStudies contains on-line versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the US Department of Army. The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world and examines the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 2-10 of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

CREATE http://www.create.org.uk/ stands for “The Centre for Research, Education and Training in Energy”. This not for profit education organisation promotes energy efficiency and sustainable development. There are resources to download, including teaching energy as part of the geography curriculum and a guide to energy-related topics in the National Curriculum. You can also subscribe to a free newsletter, Energy Watch.
This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 4 and 10 (Environmental Change and Environmental Management unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Geographyin the News is brand new site from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) provides free learning resources, for teachers and students, focusing on the geography in and behind the news. A forum allows teachers to review the materials, students are able to report news stories with a geographical perspective from their local areas, a bulletin board enables users to give their views on 'hot' geographical topics and there is an interview area for interaction with experts.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for all year levels of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

WorldAtlas is an outstanding website for all students of geography. As well as maps the site contains features such as country flags, current time (different countries), currency conversion (latest rates), continents (populations and sizes), map clip art, outline maps, map questions, and a daily geography quiz with prizes. There is also a list of of continents, countries, dependencies, islands, territories, lakes, rivers, seas, oceans, mountains, and the highest, lowest, biggest, smallest, tallest, deepest, oldest, youngest, richest, poorest places on the planet.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for all year levels of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Global Teenager Project http://www.iicd.org/globalteenager/ from the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) assists developing countries to realise locally owned sustainable development by harnessing the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The Global Teenager Project was launched in 1999 to bring the full potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into the classroom. In short, GTP's aim is to enhance secondary pupils' ICT skills and learning skills while increasing their understanding of other cultures by staging lively, global classroom debates in cyberspace. GTP unites secondary school pupils from all over the world in a safe, structured virtual environment, thereby helping to bridge the cultural and digital divide between the developing and developed world. So far, over 3000 pupils from 95 schools in 20 countries are taking part and the number is rising every month.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 9 Connection Geographies unit of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Global Wise http://www.wateraid.org/international/learn_zone/ is dedicated to helping people escape the stranglehold of poverty and disease caused by living without safe water and sanitation. WaterAid works in partnership with local organisations in 15 countries in Africa and Asia to help poor communities establish sustainable water supplies and latrines, close to home. WaterAid also works to influence governments’ water and sanitation policies to serve the interests of vulnerable people. The Global Wise website leads pupils through a series of activities which teach them about WaterAid water and sanitation programmes in India and Ethiopia.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Year 7 (Water) and 10 (Global Geographies of Well-Being unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

NationMaster is a website that allows users to generate graphs based on numerical data extracted from the CIA Factbook." A site making it easy to engage with the indicators that shape global commerce, health, politics and ecology.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for Years 6 and 10 (Global Geographies of Well-Being unit) of the Australian Curriculum: Geography

Global Witness http://www.globalwitness.org/ sets out to achieve real change by challenging established thinking on seemingly intractable global issues - to highlight the link between the exploitation of natural resources and human rights abuses, particularly where the resources such as timber, diamonds and oil are used to fund and perpetuate conflict and corruption.

This site would be useful to support the learning program for the Year 10 Global Geographies of Well-Being and Environmental Change and Environmental Management units of the Australian Curriculum: Geography


1 comment:

Johnson said...

Good information about
"Harvesting Internet resources and mapping their use against the Australian Curriculum: Geography".
Thanks for sharing....
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