Mission: Geography!

7 Posts authored by: sjcaban


Are you familiar with the My Wonderful World Blog?


In this geography education-themed web journal from National Geographic Education we discuss a range of topics from current-event connecttions to  teaching strategies to geographic curiousities.


We have recently introduced some new recurring features to the blog. In addition to the well-established  "Five for Friday," weekly round-ups, we have now added a "Monday-Funday Photo" and "Wednesday Word of the Week" to spark classroom discussions.




This week's photo blog featured images snapped by National Geographic magazine "Your Shot" contributors of their dogs in the snow. It posed the question: What factors might affect how pets react to different environments and weather conditions?


Today's word of the week is village, describing the communities at the center of life throughout much of the rural world. Do you know what makes a village distinct from a hamlet or town? Find out!


We invite you to visit the My Wonderful World blog, add it to your bookmarks, and join in the conversation about geography topics of the day!

In a series of three posts, we will share writings from Daniel C. Edelson, Vice-President for Education at the National Geographic Society, about geo-literacy, a concept he has developed to describe the broad set of skills students will need to make far-reaching decisions in the 21st century.


In this first installment, Danny answers the question "What is geo-literacy and why is it important?"




What is geo-literacy?


We call the combination of skills and understanding necessary to make far-reaching decisions geo-literacy. The three components of geo-literacy are understanding human and natural systems, geographic reasoning, and systematic decision-making.




Why is geo-literacy important?


As preparation for far-reaching decisions, geo-literacy enables people to steer away from choices that will be costly for themselves and others. For example, individuals and communities bear preventable costs every time a retail business fails because of a poorly chosen location, a fishery is damaged by stormwater runoff, or travelers and deliveries are delayed because of inefficient transportation systems. In addition to economic and environmental costs that accumulate over time, like these, we also face immediate and sizable costs for geo-illiteracy in the form of loss of life from natural hazards, terrorism, and military conflict, and loss of livelihood from competition in a global economy.


While geo-literacy can reduce the costs of bad decision-making, it also provides the foundation for positive breakthroughs.  The hub-and-spoke system of modern air transportation, the introduction of high-yield, low-impact agricultural practices, the revival of urban neighborhoods, and early-warning systems for national defense are all examples of advances made by combining systems understanding, geographic reasoning, and systematic decision-making.


This is just an excerpt! Continue reading What is Geo-Literacy and Why Is It Imporant on the National Geographic Education website.

Check out this fantastic video of 3rd graders from the National Geographic Education demonstration school, St. Philip's Academy, presenting their community geography projects. What a way to conclude to Geography Awareness Week. Thanks all for your participation!



I hope you've been having fun all week celebrating Geography Awareness Week! Please make sure to visit the official website, www.GeographyAwarenessWeek.org, and tune in to the Blog-a-thon, if you haven't already.



Recent posts:


Can Your Child Locate Washington, D.C. on a map?


Why Geography Eduction Matters


Ocean Education


The Blogunteer: Trips for Kids

Geography Awareness Week begins Sunday, and National Geographic Education and other Thinkfinity partners have plenty of resources to help you "Discover the Adventure in Your Community."


If you haven't already, please visit the Geography Awareness Week campaign page and check out my recent blog post in Verizon 101 for  more information about this year's dynamic program. It's going to be one of the best years ever!


Happy Geography Awareness Week!

I just started this discussion, please weigh in!

Greetings Geographic Education Interest Group!


National Geographic Education is excited to be here at the ISTE 2011 Conference in Philadelphia, PA (Tuesday, June 28). Our hands-on "bring your own laptop" session is titled: "Engage Students in Citizen Science with Web-Based Mapping and Multimedia."


Below is a list of all the links from the session:


MapMaker Interactive

God Grew Tired of Us Landing Page 

Current Event Connection: Japan 2011 Earthquake

Nat Geo Education Programs Homepage

BioBlitz Program

Fieldscope (Nat Geo Ed's citizen science mapping tool)

Project NOAH (our partner's citizen science tool)

Connect With Us Page (more ways to connect with Nat Geo Ed)

ISTE Session Survey (please let ISTE know what you thought of our session!)


Thanks for your participation if you were able to attend the session. Remember, stay in touch with National Geographic Education through the Thinkfinity Community and this Geographic Education Interest Group.


--The National Geographic Education team

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