Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Tag Archives: geography

Geography Awareness Week

November 13-19, 2011 is Geography Awareness Week (GAWeek) and to celebrate, National Geographic has teamed up with Mission Explore to encourage students (and adults) to think and learn about the interconnectedness of our world.

Missions

Students can challenge friends, classmates, and family members to complete missions and earn badges in a variety of different ways. Some of the challenges include:

More

There’s a ton of resources within the site for teachers and students alike. Download a poster, the missions, activity books, explore the book list, watch videos, read articles, participate in a blog-a-thon, and more!  

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Arcademic Skill Builders

Arcademic Skill Builders is a fun site that combines arcade style games with academics to make learning fun. There are 12 different subjects including addition, subtraction, fractions, time, geography, language arts, typing and more. Students can create a public or a private game (private games require students to create a password for that specific game).

At the time of this writing, teachers can sign their class up for the Plus version of Arcademic and have the ability to track student performance, create custom content, analyze problem areas, and earn attachments.

Historical Imagery and 3D Trees in Google Earth

Historical Imagery

Google recently improved upon Google Earth and introduced a historical imagery slider so that you can compare locations with how they looked previously (as far back as imagery is available for any particular location).

3D Trees

Another great new features is 3D trees. With the release of Google Earth 6, there are more than 80 million trees which include over 50 different species. Watch the short video below to learn more.

EdTechIdeas: Google Earth is a great, free tool for students to learn about places in the world, geography, distance, topography, and many other things. Now, with the historical slider, students can get a first hand account of how things change over time due to human “progress,” and how natural disaster shape the earth. 3D trees is a great tool for studying the environment. Students can zoom in to the amazon and identify different types of trees and discover the layers of the rain forest first-hand (well, sort of).  A combination of the historical slider and 3D trees would be a nice tool for students to use as a visual for an oral report about deforestation.

3 Great Websites for Country Information Comparisons

One thing kids (and adults) often have trouble with is the concept of scale. Understanding how big or small something is can be difficult if there is no familiar reference point of which to compare. Here are 3 sites that help students gain an understanding of size and how certain occurrences that happen on our planet compare to places that they are familiar with.

If It Were My Home

The Gulf Oil Spill

If It Were My Home allows students to choose a disaster and place the disaster somewhere familiar to show the vastness of its destruction.  Another feature is the country comparison, which highlights certain aspects of what your life would be like if you were born in another country compared to where you were born. Unfortunately, you cannot change the default comparison country (US).  Perhaps this will change in future versions. 

Show World

Countries Resized Relative to Total Population

Show World visualizes the countries of the world not by land mass, but by certain data entered. For example, in the map below showing the world’s current oil supplies, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela appear largest due to the fact that those 2 countries house the largest reserves.

Countries Resized Relative to Total Oil Reserves

Dimensions

The BBC’s Dimensions allows students to compare a variety of different occurrences and phenomenon to familiar areas including: the war on terror, space, depths, ancient worldsenvironmental disasters, and more.

Google-Siberian Railway

Moscow-Vladivostok: Virtual Journey on Google Maps

Here’s a pretty cool mash-up from Google. The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house. During the trip, you can enjoy Russian classic literature, brilliant images and fascinating stories about the most attractive sites on the route.

Here’s a video preview, but to get the full experience, go to the site and follow the route on the map while looking at all the sites out of the train window.

Integration Ideas

Great for classes studying maps, Russian history and geography. Teachers could assign different sections of the route to each student and have student’s research the regions and cities along the route. Story starters: Students watch a section of the video and then write a story from the point of view of one of the original passengers. Math: Students calculate the distance between stops. Estimate how many miles of rail was used in construction. Estimate the weight of the rails.

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