Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.



Geographic Illiteracy and the Rise of Trump

Even the most accomplished American high school student can graduate knowing more about criminal justice in Puritan New England than about the actual injustices going on every day in the United States. Students can learn every step of the process of photosynthesis and yet have never heard of the Kyoto Accords. They can know how nuclear fission works, and yet they don’t know which countries have nuclear weapons and don’t understand the (perverse) logic of mutually assured destruction. They know the Five Pillars of Islam but don’t know what modern-day country Mecca is in.


I know, I know.  This is more partisan than most articles I typically share, but the title is bit misleading and clickbait-ish.  Approximately 7/8ths of the article is a plea for more geographic instruction in the United States and the value of the AP Human Geography curriculum for understanding the world we live in (and 1/8th is a partisan perspective).  The bulleted section of the article is especially good and would be useful to extract for students (as would some other portions).


Tagseducation, APHG, geography education, 

Gullah Culture

“While Gullah was not originally a written language and has never had a governing authority or dictionary, linguistic scholars have found that the language is internally consistent and in some ways more efficient and expressive than standard English. Elements of the language have seeped into African-American Vernacular English across the country.”


For the first time in recent memory, the Charleston County School Board is discussing how to address the specific needs of Gullah and Geechee students, children of a culture whose linguistic origins trace back to the west coast of Africa via the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Some teachers have said the students’ way of speaking — whether in the heavily West African-influenced Gullah language or in the more Anglicized dialects sometimes known as Geechee — can present an obstacle to understanding in the classroom. Like many Lowcountry Gullah speakers of her generation, the current head of state for the Gullah/Geechee Nation carries painful memories of adults who taught her to hold her family’s way of speaking in contempt.


Tags: language, culture, raceeducation, historical.


U.S. Students Are Really Bad at Geography

Your kid has no idea where Saudi Arabia – or maybe even South Carolina – is. Here’s why.


The U.S. government report on 8th grade geography is not a ‘pick-me-up’ but a sobering reminder of the task that lays before us.  This article quotes a few alliance coordinators on the current situation and how to change it. 


TagseducationK12geography education.

Why I make cartograms with second graders

“There are few sights more heartening than that of an elementary school whose classrooms and hallways are decorated with world maps. Yet teachers should be careful to make sure that the standard depiction of the world map is not the only map their students encounter. Otherwise, they run the risk that children will assume ‘this is the way the world looks,’ rather than the more complicated reality that ‘this is one of many ways of representing our world.’ One useful antidote to this way of thinking is for students to explore cartograms, which are maps that use the relative area of places to present statistical data.  Please check out my cartogram lesson plan.”


I love this post because it shows that–adjusting for mathematical proficiency and cartographic skill–just about any group of students can work on projects to work with data and explore various ways of how to represent that data.  


Tagseducation, K12geography education, statistics, spatial, mapping. 

High-School Dropouts and College Grads Are Moving to Very Different Places

Cities like Washington and San Francisco are gaining the highly skilled but losing their less-educated workforce.


This article, with its charts and interactive maps, is worth exploring to show some of the important spatial patterns of internal migration.  It’s not hard to realize that larger, cosmopolitan metro areas will have an advantage in attracting and keeping prospective college graduates; the question that we should be asking our students is how will this impact neighborhoods, cities and regions?    

Tags: migration, USA, mappingcensus, education.

Prophetic 1995 Student Internet PSA

See on Scoop.itSocial Media Classroom

This Public Service Announcement (PSA) was produced in 1995 by the 5th grade students at Ray Bjork school in Helena Montana. The production equipment was mad…

This video pretty accurately describes how we use the internet today, even down to the obsession with cat-related content.

See on

Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Via Scoop.itGeography Education
Education is a better economic driver than a country’s natural resources.

This New York Times article is compelling fodder for a discussion on economic development.  While having natural resources on the surface sounds like the best valuable asset for a nation economy, why does Friedman argue that an abundance of natural resource can hurt the national economy?  While an educated workforce is obviously an asset, just how important is it compared to other factors?

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