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.
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.
Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest helps you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short video connecting world population growth and one of three global challenges: Advancing Women and Girls, Feeding 10 Billion, or Preventing Pollution. Students can win up to $1,000 and participating teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 22, 2018 – use this lesson plan to get started now! Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at https://www.worldof7billion.org/student-video-contest/.
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!
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.