Our purpose is the promotion and enhancement of geographic knowledge in the schools and among the general populace of Illinois. To achieve this purpose, the Alliance maintains a strong grassroots organization of geographic educators from schools and universities, participates in educational reform at the district, state, and national levels. We engage in an active program of preservice and inservice teacher education, develop curriculum materials based on the National Geography Standards, and foster public awareness of the importance of geography in our society.
You probably know Dr. Jane Goodall for her integral work with chimpanzees. But did you know that she wrote letters and notes while out in the field? Now your students can be like Jane and join the Dear Jane Letter Writing Campaign! Submitted letters will be bound into a book and given to Dr. Goodall. As an added bonus, every educator who participates will receive a free copy of the new documentary film airing on National Geographic in 2018, JANE, which tells the true story of how her chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Write a letter to Jane.
This past Saturday I made the trek from the suburbs of Chicago to Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal to attend the 2017 Geography in the 21st Century Conference. I made this 2 hour journey across the cold, flat, farm fields of central Illinois, with my friend and fellow #worldgeochat moderator Chris Heffernan. (@cheffernan75 ) Neither of us had attended this conference before so we didn’t quite know what to expect. Although we found the conference was small in the number of attendees it was big on learning. It checked off the biggest box for a successful conference...walking out with strategies, resources, and ideas you could use in your classroom that next day! All of those new ideas and resources made it definitely worth the 2 hour drive and giving up watching a big slate of college football games.
I attended 4 sessions: “The National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Process”, “Bringing the World to your Classroom”, “Geographical Thinking in Action” and “Using Historical Maps to Examine Historical Thinking and Geographic Thinking.” I learned something new at all 4 sessions which is always a win! The remainder of this post will recap my big take aways from each session.
Announcing a new competition from National Geographic: the GeoChallenge!
Give your students in grades five through eight the opportunity to utilize their critical thinking, teamwork, and innovation skills to come up with real-world solutions to real-world problems. Check out our guidelines and register today so that your students can tackle critical issues facing the planet.
Please share the new Esri GeoInquiries for Mathematics, American Literature, and World History with your colleagues. If your school would like to have a copy of all of the GeoInquiries (including Mapping Our World) loaded into its ArcGIS Online organization, please see details here. GeoInquiry collections are also available for Earth Science, AP Human Geography, US History, Elementary, Environmental Science and Biology.
Travel the world affordably, earn professional development credit, and bring global understanding into your classroom!
Founded in 2007, Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has sent over 2000 teachers abroad on adventurous travel programs. With GEEO educators can earn professional development credit while seeing the world. GEEO's trips are 7 to 21 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. In addition to amazing tour leaders, many of the programs are accompanied by university faculty that are experts on the destination. The deposit is $250 for each program and then the final payment is due 60 days before departure.
GEEO also provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators, administrators, retired educators, as well as educators’ guests.
GEEO is offering the following travel programs for 2018: Argentina and Brazil, Bangkok to Hanoi, Colombia, Camino de Santiago, Eastern Europe, The Galapagos Islands, Greece, Iceland, India and Nepal, Madagascar, Ireland, Armenia and Georgia, Paris to Rome, Multi-Stan, Sri Lanka and The Maldives, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam/Cambodia, and, The Balkans.
At Esri, we are impressed by and want to showcase the hard work and creativity of U.S. K-12 teachers using ArcGIS Online. So, we are holding a monthly video challenge. Show us the powerful things you do! Learn more!
The Illinois Geographical Society (IGS) invites you to join them for their 2018 Annual Meeting - Roots, Routes and The River: Exploring Land Use and Human Activity in Southwestern Illinois.
Please visit the IGS website for more information and registration (Sunday, April 10 deadline).
July 9 - August 3, 2018 at The Newberry Library
The Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography is pleased to announce its 2018 NEH Summer Seminar for K-12 school teachers, "Reading Material Maps in the Digital Age". The four-week seminar, led by Dr. James Akerman (The Newberry Library) and Dr. Peter Nekola (Luther College), will focus on the practice of critically reading and teaching from original map documents, informed by the most recent cartographic scholarship. Material maps are still useful in our everyday life, but there is no question that teaching cartographic literacy is complicated by the advent of the digital age. If material maps are in fact fading in popularity, what pedagogical purposes can these objects still serve in K-12 humanities teaching? How can we learn from the material map’s physical presence, historical uses, and meanings? Grounded in the renowned map collections of the library, this exciting program will consist of seminar sessions, readings, workshops, field trips, and personal research.
Applications are encouraged from K-12 faculty in all disciplines. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $3,300 to help defray travel and housing expenses. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2018. For more information on the seminar, program faculty, stipend and housing information, and how to apply, please go to the "Reading Material Maps" website: readingmaterialmaps.wordpress.com. Additional inquiries may be directed to:
Program Assistant, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography
The Newberry Library
60 W Walton St
Chicago, IL 60610
Did you know this year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee? Over three decades, the geography competition has inspired and rewarded students' curiosity about the world! Approximately 120 million students have participated for a chance to compete for college scholarships at the National Championship, and the Bee has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarship money. Register your school today to compete in the ultimate academic competition and receive our early bird rate.
The Nat Geo Bee is an annual geography competition for students at the school, state, and national levels where students in grades 4-8 compete for a chance to win up to $50,000 in college scholarships. While students study for the Bee, they learn about the world, its people, and important historical events.