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
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
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 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
Way back in August of 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the National Park Service Organic Act, establishing the creation of the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife” found inside the United States and make them available for public enjoyment.
According to National Geographic and the NPS, there are more than 84 million acres across the U.S., at sites as diverse as national monuments, Civil War battlefields, and historic sites. There’s a big range in size among NPS sites, too: The biggest is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, at 13.2 million acres, while the smallest is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. These sites attract more than 300 million visitors every year.
Shelton Johnson, a park ranger at Yosemite National Park and published author, shared his thoughts on this important milestone.
“No longer were rivers a force to be dammed, virgin forests a source for board-feet, or mountainsides blasted for gemstones or coal. The idea of parks has the power to transcend culture, a currency whose value speaks of something profoundly human.”
To celebrate, Read more
I’m in Denver at the 2016 version of the madhouse that is the #ISTE2016 conference. Helping to spread the Best Keynote goodness and doing a session on Google tools later on. And it’s always fun. I see old friends and make new ones. I learn new things. But it can get to be a bit of nerd overload. After a while, the conversation about server loads, bit rates, digital learning environments, edtech synergy, companies that spell their names with a Z instead of an S, and the next technology revolution gets to be a little much.
So it’s kind of nice to slow down a bit with other social studies folks to talk about maps and historical thinking skills. Yes. It is a session with the word digital in the title but it’s digital maps from the Library of Congress. I’m okay with that.
Presented by Sherrie Calloway and Cappi Castro, the session focused on ways to support historical thinking and problem solving while using maps. Sherri and Cappi are part of the very cool Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program maintained by the TPS Western Region people at Metro State here in the Denver area.
And just so you know, the TPS program is awesome, if for no other reason than Read more