Right after my two dream jobs of working at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Museum of American History, I’m planning to pop over to National Geographic for a few years. We’ve been connected at the hip since I was in 5th grade and first discovered their amazing graphics and maps.
So I’m sure they’d love to hire me to help out a bit around the office.
Until then, I’ll just be happy playing with some of their very cool toys. This includes, of course, their powerful MapMaker Interactive digital tool.
But it also includes their MapMaker Kits: Read more
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
Working at ESSDACK is a mix of good days and great days. Today is a great day. I get the chance to spend time with a ton of other social studies nerds at the Missouri Council for the Social Studies conference in Columbia.
So far I’ve had a great breakfast, met some folks who spent time at Mt. Vernon wearing the most awesome political campaign t-shirt ever, and picked up some sweet vendor goodies.
The first session focuses on helping students make sense of place. Ladawndra Robbs and Erin Townsend shared some great ideas and strategies. And they are on fire. So incredibly passionate! Read more
Last summer, I spent a quick few minutes with Tom Barker from ESRI at the ISTE 2015 conference. ESRI is the group responsible for creating the ArcGIS mapping software that helps connect people with maps, data, and apps.
But the cool thing about ESRI is that they also provide some pretty nifty tools for K-12 teachers. And I wanted to find out a bit more about what ESRI might be able to offer social studies educators. Turns out, quite a bit.
First things first.
StoryMaps. Amazing free tools to help you and your students create very cool stories that use geography as the centerpiece to the narrative. This tool by itself should be enough to get you off the couch and onto the ESRI bandwagon.
But wait. There’s more. One of the things Tom shared with me last summer was something they were callingGeoInquiries. Unlike StoryMaps, which are more involved and in-depth, GeoInquiries are quick and easy to use activities that take 15-25 minutes.
The problem? Read more
One of my favorite map books is called How to Lie With Maps by Mark Monmonier. How to Lie highlights the use and abuse of maps and teaches us how to critically evaluate these “easy-to-manipulate models of reality.” Monmonier claims that, despite their immense value, maps must lie.
Back of the book jacket , Monmonier introduces basic principles of mapmaking, gives entertaining examples of the misuse of maps in situations from zoning disputes to census reports, and covers all sorts of distortions from deliberate oversimplifications to the misleading use of color.
How can maps “lie?” Read more