Sunday, November 15, 2009

Geographers on the Job

As it is Geography Awareness Week this week, it's a good time to use Google Earth in your classroom. For Geography Awareness Week, The Google Earth Blog has some good KMZ files to use in your classroom. The one that I particularly like is Geographers on the Job.

Applications for Education
Geographers on the Job is full of placemarks that explain the types of work done by Geographers. This Google Earth tour is a great way for students to see the many uses of geography beyond the traditional jobs of cartography, surveying, and teaching.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Great Google Maps/ Earth How-to Videos
A Narrated Google Earth Tour of Afghanistan
Videos for Learning About Google Earth

Geography from Space - Geography Game

This week, November 15-21, 2009, is Geography Awareness Week. Just as they have for the previous seven years, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is hosting a fun geography quiz contest. Geography from Space asks players to identify countries and landforms by looking at satellite images. Anyone that completes the quiz is eligible to enter a drawing for a free copy of the book Earth from Space.

Applications for Education
Having students play Geography from Space could be a fun way to kick-off Geography Awareness Week in your classroom. The game could also be a fun activity to wrap-up a geography lesson.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
A Fun Way to "Study" Geography
Show World - Geography Lesson Plans
360 Degree View from the Peak of Mt. Everest

Ten Trends to Affect Teaching in the Future (and now)

Rodd Lucier has a great post titled Classrooms of Tomorrow on his blog right now. In that post he talks about a professional development workshop he recently facilitated for Regina Mundi College. There are two aspects of Rodd's post that I enjoyed. First, I enjoyed reading what I would call the "guiding questions" of the session. The questions became the focus of the participant's task to create a "classroom of the future." From reading his post I can tell that it was the kind of workshop that I would have wanted to be a participant in. I encourage you to visit Rodd's post and read the questions and subsequent activities for yourself.

The second aspect of Rodd Lucier's Classrooms of Tomorrow post that I like is his slideshow about ten trends to affect teaching and learning in the future. As you go through the slideshow you'll notice that some of these trends are already affecting teaching and learning.

Applications for Education
If you read through Rodd Lucier's Classrooms of Tomorrow post you will find a good model of teaching that can be applied to K-12 classrooms, higher ed classrooms, and professional development workshops.

Farther Than the Eye Can See

If you're looking for an inspirational story to watch for yourself and or to share with your students, they don't get much better than this one. In 2001, Erik Weihenmeyer became the first blind person to summit Mount Everest. His book Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See: My Storywas a bestseller.
The story of his climb is told in the one hour movie embedded below.