iScore5 now ready for Android devices

Game while you learn. It’s FUN!

•  100s and 100s of AP-style Questions from easy to hard.
•  A leaderboard to rank your scores against students around the world.
•  You can iScore5 anywhere – much easier to carry around than a book!
•  Tell your parents you ARE STUDYING when they see you on your phone!


iScore5, everyone’s favorite app for AP Human Geography used to be only available through the Apple Store.  In addition to receiving some excellent reviews this last year, they have made their app open to be used on Android devices (available in the Google Play Store -$4.99). With five levels of questions at increasing difficulty, bonus and double bonus rounds and a study mode with extensive vocabulary, APHG students and teachers alike will find this a great test prep resource that is both fun and and intellectually stimulating way to get that score that they are looking for.  


Tags: APHG, teacher training, edtech.

‘Sedated by software’: No one knows how to read maps anymore, experts say

The Royal Institute of Navigation are concerned about the nation’s cartographical know-how and have suggested schools start teaching basic navigation.


Today, many are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries.  So teach a kid how to read a map…the sooner the better. 


Tagsmapping, K12, location.

Pope Francis, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in Cuba

“After a split of more than 1,000 years, the persecution of Christian by extremists in the Middle East and Africa have brought the two churches closer.”


Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a first-ever encounter between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches since the Great Schism of 1054.


Tags: religionChristianity.


Israel to create a new egalitarian prayer plaza at Western Wall

The government approved a plan to allow pluralistic, and mixed-gender prayer, at Judaism’s holy site.


In the past, Israeli policewomen have detained members of the religious group Women of the Wall for breaching orthodox rules governing prayers at the site. This is Judaism’s most holy site and orthodox traditions have legally prevailed here, defining who could be there and who could perform which religious rites (often on gender lines).  This fight represents a struggle to redefine the meaning and usage of public space in Jerusalem (among other complex issues).  The article states that “this marks an unprecedented move by the Israeli government to officially recognize the rights of Conservative, Reform and other Jewish denominations to hold organized prayer at the site.”


Tags: Israel, culture, genderspace, religion, Judaism,
Middle East.

There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent

“Speech with a drawl, twang, clipped consonants, broad vowels, slurred words or extra diphthongs might give away that the speaker is from the American South, Boston, the Midwest or elsewhere. The spice that a certain region may lend to spoken language can even be strong enough to flavor non-audible language as well. Indeed, American Sign Language (ASL) has its own accents. And like its audible counterpart, one of the strongest regional accents in ASL is that of Philadelphia residents, reports Nina Porzucki for PRI.”



Romania’s lost generation: inside the Iron Curtain’s orphanages

Romania’s Soviet-era approach to child rearing led to one of history’s most comprehensive studies on the effects of institutionalisation on young children.


In the past I have highlighted pro-natalist government policies (and private encouragement) such as Singapore’s National Night and Denmark’s “Do it for Denmark!” Those programs and policies are designed to slow down declining populations; agency, choice and the well-being of the next generation are deeply embedded into the fabric of those plans.  This horrific, historical example shows everything that could go wrong with enforced pro-natalists policies in an authoritarian government.  


TagsRomania, declining populations, historicalgovernance.


Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries

“Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been escalating on many fronts — over wars in Syria and Yemen, the Saudis’ execution of a dissident Shiite cleric and the Iran nuclear deal. The dispute runs so deep that the regional rivals — one a Shiite theocracy, the other a Sunni monarchy — even clash over the name of the body of water that separates them.

Iran insists that it be called the Persian Gulf, and has banned publications that fail to use that name. Yet this riles Arab nations, which have succeeded in pushing various parties to use their preferred term — Arabian Gulf.”


Is it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf?  This mini-controversy is part of a broader fight to exert greater regional power and influence (see also this article on GeoCurrents on the same topic). 


Tags: placeregions, language, toponyms.

Why don’t black and white Americans live together?

In many parts of the US, Americans of different races aren’t neighbours – they don’t go to the same schools, they don’t always have access to the same services.


This article is filled with good geography (and more specifically AP Human Geography) vocabulary.  Redlining, blockbusting, and racial covenants are all discussed as spatial process that have shaped socioeconomic and racial characteristics in American cities. 


Tags: neighborhood, urban, socioeconomic, racepoverty, spatialhousing.