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Posts from the ‘maps’ Category

Live blog #mcss17: Inspiring Local Learners in a Global Community

Two words that you really don’t want to hear in the same sentence:

            Minnesota / February

As in, “Hey. I can’t wait to travel to Minnesota in the middle of February.”

But when the two involve the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies annual conference, I’ll risk it. Lots of great people in Minnesota doing some awesome things in the social studies and I am honored to be a part of it. (My session on 3D History is later this afternoon – I’ll post a few details from that preso later this evening.)

I’ll be live blogging throughout the day on some of the cool stuff I’m learning. So be sure to refresh.

Opening Keynote
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon

Secretary Simon highlighted the importance of what social studies teachers do every day by sharing examples of how well Minnesota participates in elections

 We are voters. We work hard at building civic engagement.

The state is the number one state in voter turnout nine of the last 10 elections because of “laws and culture.” He highlighted the efforts that Minnesota makes to ensure that voter registration is as easy as possible with same day and online voter registration. Simon also discussed how early and absentee voting is encouraged.

The state also works hard to encourage kids to vote. I like how Simon talked about how getting younger kids to participate takes more than just using idealistic arguments such as “it’s good for the country” and “it’s your patriotic duty.” Simon suggests that we need to also encourage younger voters to participate also based on self interest and “to be part of something.” That kids need to be encouraged to vote and participate because it will make their lives, and the lives of people they know, better. So Minnesota uses a massive outreach program into the school system to support this sort of civic engagement.

He shared the saying on a tee shirt:  “Choosing not to vote isn’t a sign of rebellion, it’s a sign of surrender.” They work very hard to help kids understand that participating is the smarter choice.

And with the highest rate of voter turnout anywhere in the US, Read more

Tip of the Week: 8 decades of super cool declassified CIA maps

We all love maps. We all love cool historical artifacts. And we all love spy gadgets. What better place to get all three than the Central Intelligence Agency?

I’ve always known about the CIA World Factbook. You all probably already use that tool for geography, world history, and government. But I just found out about the CIA Flickr account. Who knew? They’ve uploaded multiple albums and collections with recently declassified maps, artifacts, and cool spy museum goodies.

The best part of the Flickr account for me is the eight decades Read more

Geography Awareness Week 2016: Resources & strategies

Each year more than 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week. Established by presidential proclamation more than 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it.

Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders as part of that year’s activities. Geography Awareness Week is supported by year-long access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists and all geographically minded global citizens.

This year’s theme, to help celebrate the very cool anniversary of the National Park Service, is Explore the Power of Parks.

Want a piece of this? Head over and check out these resources: Read more

11 awesome places to visit with Google Cardboard

My current kick is virtual reality. I’m loving Google Cardboard and their new Expeditions app. And there are more and more tools showing up that take advantage of the VR buzz.

Some of the latest I’ve found are the Google Arts and Culture app and website, a very cool NPR tour of Rocky Mountain National Park, and some sweet pre-built tours at Nearpod. There will be more.

But if you’re still trying to figure out places to go and cool stuff to look at, the simple Google Street View app that goes quickly to 3D view and the basic Google Maps Street View button can take you all over the world. Seriously, Google has sent their pano cameras everywhere.

Start with these eleven very cool places: Read more

GameOn World: Geography game that plays like Kahoot

If you love Kahoot – and who doesn’t – you’re gonna love Game On.

The idea is simple. Start a game. Students browse to gameon.world on any smart device. Share a pin number with your students. Start the game. Project questions and images onto a screen. Students view questions on screen. They answer the questions on their device. Students see the results on the large screen.

And here’s the cool part. While there are a variety of topics, you can choose to focus on geography and history facts. Read more

National Geographic Mapmaker Interactive just got better

National Geographic has always been the go-to for geography goodies. You get lesson plans, teaching resources, maps, and even more maps.

And they always have had great map making tools. But they just got better. Their MapMaker has been updated with new features, the biggest one for many of you is the ability to use the tool on mobile devices.

But they’ve also added some new interactive tools:

  • Country Facts and Flags – Explore and discover information about countries and territories around the world. Customize the fill and border colors to make this map layer your own.
  • Latitude and Longitude – See the coordinates of any place on earth.
  • Custom Text, Photos, Videos – Use markers, lines, or shapes to tell your story on MapMaker by adding in text, photos, and videos with the rich editing tool.

Start with a blank world map that allows Read more