Thursday, November 29, 2012

Everything is connected to something!

The concept of Interconnection
A recurring theme and key concept of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is Interconnection.
“The concept of interconnection emphasises that no object of geographical study can be viewed in isolation. It is about the ways that geographical phenomena are connected to each other through environmental processes, the movement of people, flows of trade and investment, the purchase of goods and services, cultural influences, the exchange of ideas and information, political power and international agreements. Interconnections can be complex, reciprocal or interdependent, and have a strong influence on the characteristics of places.”  Australian Curriculum: Geography draft August 2012

A previous Spatialworlds posting explored the concept of Interdependence when looking at the Kony 2012 phenomenon. As geography teachers and users of spatial technology we are constantly deconstructing our world for students to see that nothing is simple and everything is interconnected, often interdependent and extremely complex. The fact we have a world of order out of the complexities created by interconnection is amazing. The following resource called ‘I, Pencil’ is a fantastic expose on these issues, using the simple pencil (not so simple!) to show the role geography plays in explaining the complexities of our world.
This year's National Geographic Geography Awareness Week's theme was "Declare Your Interdependence!"  The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance at has developed and archived some great resources to teach interconnection.  The Geography Awareness Week's poster (includes lesson plans etc) for 2012 focused on the video I, Pencil (Geography of a Pencil).  The examination of the theme of interconnectedness makes this a great resource.  It also opens the door for some great conversations about the economics of capitalism and globalization and the concept of spontaneous order.
* Trailer for the I, Pencil movie

* The video. "I, Pencil".

* I, Pencil Extended Commentary is a video series elaborating the fundamental themes of "I, Pencil." The subjectof this installment is Spontaneous Order.

* I, Pencil Extended Commentary is a video series elaborating the fundamental themes of "I, Pencil." The subject of this installment is Connectivity.

* I, Smartphone" is a video based on the essay "I, Pencil" penned by Leonard Read in 1958. This video provides the opportunity to extend the discussion to the more complex Smartphone in terms of technology, but maybe the geography no more complex than the pencil?

The following link on food also would be useful to teach the interconnection concept and link very nicely into the Australian Curriculum: Geography Year Biomes and Food security.