Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beyond colouring in! Creative Geography teaching

Image above: A luminescent map of the World's earthquakes since 1898. A century's worth of earthquakes (a staggering 203,186 of them) across the globe.

Related links
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Humsteach blog

GeogSplace blog

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Where am I??

Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Teaching geography creatively (not just busy work!)

The following sites are some useful sites for teaching geography creatively, many of which are excellent for introductory geography in the primary school. These sites provide amazing opportunties to do some really meaningful and worthwhile geographical studies in the classroom, learning we could not imagine before the wonders of technology, including spatial. Many of the sites I have gleaned from Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher in the US who continues to post some great teaching resources on his edublog.
* 101 Creatively simple ways to teach Geography: Some great activities and ideas from Tony Cassidy in the UK.
* Top Geography blogs with heaps of ideas for the classroom

* Geographical Media is the newest addition to The Best Tools To Help Develop Global Media Literacy list. After you register (which is a free and easy process) you can see which topics are being covered in the news media in different parts of the world, and compare the differences. The site seems to have a number of other features — and it’s not particularly intuitive how to navigate through them — but the site has a lot of potential.

* Map Battle is a very easy-to-use tool to create geography games online. It’s like a less-fancy The Traveler IQ Challenge game.

*  Newsy is a site that — in short videos — compares how major news events are covered by media throughout the world. In some ways, it’s similar to Link TV, which is also of use in the classroom.

* The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”. The speaking is pretty fast and relatively high-level, so it’s probably only accessible to advanced English Language Learners.

* Hypercities is a neat “mashup” of what various cities have looked like over the past several hundred years. By using a “slider,” you can choose a year, and then various images of that city from that time are shown.

* Safe Drinking Water, a site developed by the Academy of Sciences to highlight worldwide water issues. It has several good videos that are closed-captions, along with an atlas showing which countries have less or more access to water resources.

* Geobeats. It has a huge collection of short travel videos from around the world.

* What The World Eats, an online slideshow from Time magazine that shows families from fifteen different countries, along with what they eat during one week and its cost. This site can be used to initiate a discussion on economic inequities; use in compare/contrast activities; and take advantage of it to develop new vocabulary.
* Places Of A Lifetime. It highlights major cities from all over the world sharing information, images, and videos. It also has short and simple quizzes users can take.

* Mapdango, a “mash-up” — a combination of a variety of web applications. It’s a neat geographical and map search engine that, after you enter the location you’re interested in, will show you the area’s weather, areas of interest from Wikipedia, Flickr photos, and other items. One particularly useful feature is that it shows all of the above connected to its geographical location on a map, too.

* Visual Geography is a nice site with images, information, and quizzes about 85 countries around the world. I A feature called “Compare” allows you to pick any two countries and easily compare their demographic data with a click of the mouse.

* McDougal Littell’s Class Zone. This site has animated maps, online activities, animations — all with text support for audio. Just click on a subject and a state, and you’ll be amazed at what they offer online.

* Maps: Finding Our Place In The World Wonderful online activities it offers are too numerous to mention. Just be sure to explore all the links on its “sidebar.”

* Geography Challenge from a magazine called Mental Floss. It has a series of good map games that are a little more challenging than the ones on IKnowThat.

* Nations Illustrated. It has over 7,000 photos from all over the world. They’re categorized by country, and they’re free to use for non-commercial purposes.

* The Zero Footprint Kids Calculator  It would be difficult to develop a more accessible web tool for people to figure out their own ecological footprint.

* The Virtual Smithsonian. It’s a fantastic multimedia window into the artifacts, and their stories, held by the Smithsonian Institution.

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