September 2017 AJ’s GEms

Welcome back!

This year, I am putting my smartphone to use in the classroom. Below are two apps of many apps,  I plan to integrate this year.

Student response generator:

There are several apps out there for randomly selecting students,name generating apps: Randomly, Pick Me!, Decide Now! or Who’s Next? to name a few. They all have different features that make them attractive.  For 99 cents, Decide Now! is a good buy.  It is easy to load the student names and works great!

Whiteboard saver:

I use my whiteboard a great deal and often want to save the work created for and by students to access later. Office Lens, created by Microsoft (available at itunes as well) will take the image, clean it up and file for you.  I currently take images but the cropping and saving take time.  This app does it for you.

June 2017 AJ’s GEms- SUmmer Assignment

http://www.slidescarnival.com/category/free-templates

Time to relax, reflect and retool your powerpoint presentations for next year!  This website provides you with free downloads that can take your presentations for good to great!  Check out the many options and take the time to try one out.  

May 2017 AJ’s Gems - Wisconsin Native Americans Culture and Sovereignty Addition

https://theways.org/

The Ways is not a new site but it is a great place to start for this addition.  “The Ways” are a series of short videos produced by the Wisconsin Media Labs highlighting stories of culture and language of Native Americans of the Upper Great Lakes Region.  Anyone who teaches 4th grade Wisconsin History, Cultural Geography or Native Sovereignty under Act 31 will find these excellent quality videos useful in their classroom.  I have used several of them over the years.  They lend themselves to be great lesson and discussion starters.

https://www.mpm.edu/wirp/

The Milwaukee Public Museum has had this page for many years.  It is a fantastic resource for all things Wisconsin Native American.  The site contains excellent entries on all facets of Native American culture, prehistory, history, language and treaty history.  All of the current tribal websites are linked to the site.  As part of my freshman curriculum I am responsible for the Act 31 teaching on tribal sovereignty and use many parts of the website as handouts and resources for my students.  I can imagine anyone who touches on a varied cultures and American History at any level would find the site useful.  It is not a flashy site but a super resource for students or teachers.

AJ’s gems April 2017

GeoGuessr

www.geoguessr.com

Three quarters of the year has passed already and my students have been busy learning about the different regions of the world.  This is the perfect time to introduce this website to them.  They are able to make connections between the vegetation, landforms, languages and regions of the world.  The game can be played alone, however, my students love to challenge one another!  We have had entire challenges in which my students ban outside resources and others that allow it. You can select a region, the entire world or even create your own set of maps.

AJ’s gems March 2017

http://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution

The National Constitution Center is a great website for American Government and Civics teachers and students with excellent breakdowns and analysis of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Geographically it has a great feature titled “Rights Interactive  - Rights Around the World” accessed in the bottom portion of the main webpage.  The Rights around the world feature allows users to compare Human and Civil Rights to where they are found or denied in various countries around the world.  The interface is visually appealing and easy to use.  I could see using this in a Human or Political Geography context when studying governmental systems, Human Rights or various issues such as Modern Slavery or Child Soldiers.

http://www.yourchildlearns.com/geography.htm

This is a really nice elementary/middle school World Geography site.  It has lots of games and information to help students with place/location geography as well as research material and maps for student projects.

AJ’s gems February 2017

http://en.kiosko.net

Kiosko- This site/app offers an international news database that goes back to 1945. Students can get the front page news from around the world. This is powerful for students looking to gather different perspectives on historical events. One doenside is that they will have to translate the stories from international papers.

https://nearpod.com

Nearpod: In the classroom I often make presentations in Google Slides, which eventually end up in video form with screencastify if I want to flip the lesson for the day. But this method left out student interactivity. With Nearpod I can now embed questions and quizzes or ask students to share links and images. If every student has a device, I can also ask all students the same question and then push out the answer. It makes the previous slide presentations interactive and more effective.

AJ’s gems January 2017

Everyone, in this month’s edition I would like to first revisit a site I mentioned last year.  

https://getkahoot.com/

Kahoot! Is a quiz making site that I continue to use and one that the creators continue to make better.  I have made many different Kahoot quizzes for my classes at this point and continue to discover different features on the site.  They are just now in the process of releasing a new game mode they are calling Jumble which looks exciting.   This mode allows the creator to write questions that have the participants order and organize the answers to complete the problem rather than just selecting a correct answer.  One of the great things about Kahoot! Is the 13+ million user made Kahoots that anyone can use.  I did a simple search for Jumble Kahoots on Geography and found hundreds of user made Kahoots already using the new Jumble game mode.  

Last week I also experimented with the students making a class vocabulary Kahoot using my account and having the students work in teams to create questions and then type them into the platform.  After some editing on my part the students were then able to use the new Kahoot to help prepare for our exam.  

Take a look and I am sure you can find something to use today in your classroom or make your own.

ReadWorks.org

http://www.readworks.org/rw/k-12-geography-articles?utm_source=email&utm_content=9.28.16GeoCt

This second site was suggested to me by our Curriculum Coordinator.  The site is designed to help teachers at all grade levels find and pair primary and secondary source texts to students reading needs.  Teachers who have students who are struggling with reading and comprehending nonfiction sources will find the site very helpful.  The link I provided is to the geography articles page, the site is far larger and more comprehensive and with a simple free login open to all:)

AJ’s gems December 2016

The end of the year is coming to a close and like a good lesson, closure is important!  With that in mind, the websites I am sharing assist in bringing closure to a lesson.

Recap! 

Recap! Allows teachers to pose a question or questions to their students.  The students record a 30 second, 60 second or up to 2 minute video response.  The program operates similar to google classroom.  As the teacher, you can set up classes and give your students a code to join.

My students look forward to the option of preparing their responses and then recording them.  I have used a recap for exit slips, formative assessments and summative assessments.  

ThingLink

I am just beginning to use this program for creating interactive images in the classroom.  

Students and teachers can create interactive images using ThingLink.  

Or if you are short on time, use a pre-made Thinglink.

Upload an image and create "hotspots" on the picture that display text, link to a website or video or prompt a question.  

Overview and quick how to.

Pre-made example (food chains)

AJ’s gems October 2016

Election Day is coming soon!

With all the news coverage and buzz surrounding the United States presidential election, I thought I would share a few websites that are helpful in selecting a candidate.  There are quite a few websites that help a voter make decisions on the candidate that best represents their position on an issue. The following candidate match tools will help your students decide how best to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

I Side With...        

Geared toward high school age or older.  This site takes the user through a variety of topics and issues. I Side With also includes multiple options for third party supporters. You are not limited to what a Republican would choose vs. what a Democrat would choose.

Presidential Candidate Quiz

This site will ask the user 75 questions and will provide them with real time feedback on their candidates if they elect to to so.  They could also elect to be surprised at the end.  There are links available that allow the student to research more about positions on an issue before deciding their own.

Candidate Match Game

Put out by USAToday, this quiz allows the person to select the issues they are concerned about, however the quiz then walks the voter through questions on all twelve issues presented.  The quiz presumes the voter knows about the positions presented.

2016 CNN Matchmaker

The CNN Candidate Match Maker is another similar tool. After finishing, students can explore the candidates profiles and review their answer key.

Finally, track all the current polls and updated election information at either 270toWin or fivethirtyeight.

AJ’s gems September 2016

Welcome back to a new school year everyone.  I thought I would start of the year after my busy spring and summer working on NGS BioBlitz activities by sharing some Applications for smartphones rather than websites.  These apps have natural science and biology connections, but as geographers all know, everything is connected by our geography.  I have an IPhone but all of these apps have an equivalent for other brands of phones.

  1.  INaturalist - (in your app store just search for INaturalist) This app is the data collection app for the website I discussed last year.  We used both the app and the website of the same name as the data collection tool for our Wisconsin/Minnesota BioBlitz.  The app works by creating a real time connection to the internet through the website for the users to collect and sample flora and fauna they are observing.  Users take a picture of their observation, identify it with the manuals provided within the app and describe it using their phone or other device.  The data is posted immediately to the web and is viewable on the website.  As I mentioned this app was the primary data collection tool we used in the field last spring.  If you want to connect your students and do research on the biodiversity of a given area this is the app for you. (Free!)
  2. Merlin Bird ID by Cornell labs - (in your app store just search for Merlin Bird ID) I discovered this amazing app last spring while on a bird identification survey as part of the BioBlitz.  I have had a great time using this app this summer around my home and on various camping trips.  It is very powerful and easy to use.  If you can see a bird you can identify it in just a few easy questions.  The pictures on the app are excellent and it even has sound identification on the app.  I can see using the app with students to collect data in a discussion of biodiversity, rural and urban landscapes, landuse issues etc.  Or you could just sit on your back porch and identify the birds in your backyard like I do. (Free!)
  3. Tree Key (in your app store just search for Key to woody plants in Wisconsin) - Continuing on my getting the kids outside with their phones theme, I have one more for the month.  After getting excited about using my phone to identify birds I found a really nice app for identifying woody plants in Wisconsin. Maybe it is just me, but have you ever seen a tree or bush and thought what is that?  Now you can have a tool to answer that question.  I love this app and since it is on my phone, I do not have to carry a tree identification guide with me when I am hiking in the woods.  It works with or without a cellular connection so is great in the woods.   The app is more technical than the bird app but on the same principle that answering a set of questions gets you to the specific plant or you can browse the pictures to find the right one.This app is specific to Wisconsin and was designed by people at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  I have used it in Minnesota but the farther you get from Wisconsin, the more likely you will encounter a species not described in the app because it is not found in Wisconsin.  Again, I see using this app to collect data for discussions on biodiversity, plants used in planned geographies compared to diversity in a wild area etc.

AJ’s Gems May Edition

https://www.loc.gov/rr/geogmap/?&loclr=rec005

This month I am going to highlight only one sight, but it is so large it represents many different topics.  The sight I want to write about is the United States Library of Congress - Geography and Map Reading Room.  I have mentioned the LOC before when referencing primary source documents.  The Geography and Map Reading room is an enormous collection of online archived maps covering the entire world but especially the United States.  The maps have been archived in extremely high definition and are amazing just to browse through.  For teachers developing lessons or students doing geography research they would be excellent resources.  The main website page is above, but I want to also highlight a few specific collections that I find interesting.

If you follow the link on the main page to the “Guides for Collection” on the left side of the page you will be directed to a long list of different collections.  Here are a few highlighted:

https://www.loc.gov/maps/collections/

This is the link to the searchable database for the LOC’s entire online collection of maps.

https://www.loc.gov/collection/hotchkiss-maps/about-this-collection/

Civil War buff will love this collection of maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army.

https://www.loc.gov/collection/panoramic-maps/about-this-collection/

I am a sucker for looking at and studying these old panoramic city maps.  They always grab me, no matter what city it is and they tell great stories of our nation’s growth.  The detail in the digital collection is better than trying to study the real ones.  Try searching for your town and then think of the land use lessons you could create.

https://www.loc.gov/collection/world-war-ii-maps-military-situation-maps-from-1944-to-1945/about-this-collection/

AP US and World History teachers or anyone that teaches WWII check this collection out.  What kind of lessons could be written using these amazing battlefield maps and notes archived here.

There are so many more that I could mention, but you need to check it out and share it with a friend.

AJ’s Gems April edition

  1. https://www.geoguessr.com/ 

This is a challenging website my students turned me on to.  Using Google Maps the website drops you somewhere on earth and you need to then use clues on the ground to figure out where you are.  You can play on your own or compete against others online.  This is very challenging and a great way to show the importance of Geographic Context Clues.

        2.  https://getkahoot.com/

If you want to find a way to get kids excited to review or to discuss interactively this is a great site.  I am sure many of you have seen this site already but I wanted to highlight it this month.  A Kahoot is an online review game that allows students to use their phones to play a review game together in class.  You can make your own or use one on a topic that someone else has made.  Once you have the Kahoot, your students need to enter it with a pin number and then you can start the game.  It can also be used to solicit responses to discussion questions to help create and facilitate a discussion.  Try it, you will like it.

        3.  http://www.270towin.com 

In this divisive Presidential election year there are lots of ways to integrate the issues that face the nation into our study of geography.  270 to Win is a website I have used for many years in my American Government class.  The site allows its users to study previous U.S. Presidential elections and make predictions on the present situation.  Users can use the interactive map and the web sites data to research and study the electoral process and its many complexities.

        4.  http://www.thegreenpapers.com/

Ok, so let us continue this election theme, the Green Papers is a clearing-house site for data and articles concerning US Presidential elections.  This would be a great resource site to be use in conjunction with students studying 270towin as they study geographic issues dealing with American politics.  

5.   http://www.opensecrets.org/

So at this point, I might as well stay on the politics theme.  Another great site that I have used for years in my government classes is Opensecrets.  This site is the base for an organization that tracks the political spending in government.  Not just Presidential politics but down to the state level.  Again a great source for data and analysis if you have your students working with political geography.  Mining data on a site like this and then using it to create maps using ArcGis software would be a very difficult and challenging activity for high school students.  The site breaks down spending and donors by candidate as well as by interest groups and political parties.

March 2016

Edpuzzle

www.edpuzzle.com

This year we leaped into one-to-one instruction with chromebooks fro each of my seventh graders.  Edpuzzle is one tool I have used to share video out of the classroom with my students.  Edpuzzle is an chrome app that incorporates teacher generated questions into a youtube video, recording an saving the students responses in a way that the teacher can record and score the responses. For example, We were looking at the stages involved in climbing Mt. Everest last month in class.  For homework I would frontload instruction with a video in Edpuzzle.  The following article provides you with more information. EdTechReview

GeoGuessr

www.geoguessr.com

Three quarters of the year has passed already and my students have been busy learning about the different regions of the world.  This is the perfect time to introduce this website to them.  They are able to make connections between the vegetation, landforms, languages and regions of the world.  The game can be played alone, however, my students love to challenge one another!  We have had entire challenges in which my students ban outside resources and others that allow it. You can select a region, the entire world or even create your own set of maps.  

February 2016

100+ Map and Chart Visuals that Jump-start Discussion

https://historytech.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/tip-of-the-week-100-map-and-chart-visuals-that-jump-start-discussion/

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map.. well… it goes without saying.  This site can link you with the following and more!  I have used many of these maps to get my students talking.

25 Maps and Charts That Explain American Today

40 Maps That Explain the World

 40 More Maps That Explain the World

Power My Learning

http://powermylearning.org

PowerMyLearning is a national non-profit that leverages technology to enhance the interactions among students, teachers, and parents so that all students can succeed. “Our work fosters growth in teachers as instructional leaders, in parents as support partners, and in students as learners who can meet the challenge of high academic standards.”

They partner with schools, districts, and after-school hubs to provide teachers with coaching and students and parents with devices and training. Underlying their work is a free web platform, PowerMyLearning Connect, already in use in 40% of school communities nationwide. Many of the sites are sites that my students currently access, but it gives them one platform to access them from.  It is worth a look.

Mueseum Box

http://museumbox.e2bn.org/

This site provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box.

The HIstorical Scene Investigation Project

http://hsionline.org/

The Historical Scene Investigation Project (HSI) was designed for social studies teachers who need a strong pedagogical mechanism for bringing primary sources into their classroom.

Target audience: Middle School and High School

Topics include: Jamestown, Bacon’s Rebellion, Boston Massacre. Lexington and Concord, Constitutional Controversy, Antonio the Slave, Finding Aaron, School Desegregation, When Elvis Met Nixon, Dropping the Bomb, March on Frankfort, Children in the Civil War, Case of Sam Smiley

Timelines

Representing historical events on a timeline can assist students with an understanding of cause and effect.  Below are two websites in which students can interact with timelines.

http://www.tiki-toki.com

Tiki-Toki is web-based software for creating beautiful interactive timelines that you can share on the internet.

https://timeglider.com

Timeglider is a data-driven interactive timeline application. You can "grab" the timeline and drag it left and right, and zoom in and out — much as you would with a mapping app — to view centuries at a time or just hours.

January 2016

Quizlet

https://quizlet.com/

Sometimes the old way with a new twist is the best.  Quizlet is a well known website that provides teachers and students with the ability to create, search and share flash card style review cards for all of that pesky information one needs to know on their way to higher level learning.  Quizlet is a free sight that teachers and students can use to make their own flashcards or search for some that someone has already made.  If you need to review vocabulary or base concepts this is a fantastic sight.  They have cards on almost anything you can think of.  If it does not have it then you can make your own.

Vistawide: World Language and Cultures

http://www.vistawide.com/languages/language_statistics.htm

Check out some facts about languages across the world at this website.  Contains many different types of fun facts about all of the languages (6,912) spoken by people across the world.

Unesco

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/

This site provides a list of all the UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe.  For each site there are pictures, facts, and links to other resources.  The World Heritage sites are organized by country.

National Geographic’s Photo of The Day

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/

Each day the photo features represents an aspect of the planet we call home.  My students can check this image out when they log into our classroom connection page for materials and assignments.  The image can springboard journal entries and discussion.

Animaps

http://www.animaps.com/#!home

Animaps extends the My Maps feature of Google Maps by letting you create maps with markers that move, images and text that pop up on cue, and lines and shapes that change over time.

When you send your Animap to friends it appears like a video- they can play, pause, slow and speed up the action!

December 2015

About Geography

http://geography.about.com/

The About Geography online directory includes major concepts and themes of geography as well as information and maps about countries and states around the world.

Some of the many topics discussed on this site include cultural & human geography, careers in geography, history of geography, geographic technology, and more.

Cultural Jambalaya

http://www.culturaljam.org/

Cultural Jambalaya is a favorite for images and stories of human geography that celebrate cultural differences.  Photography from around the world is used to create educational videos for students.

Videos describe customs & rituals, family life, transportation, jobs, religions, and world heritage sites. Currently, videos are available for Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. You can watch the videos online for free you just have to register your email address (there is no fee for registering).

Time For Kids Around the World

http://www.timeforkids.com/around-the-world

With Time for Kids Around the World students can learn about day-to-day life in countries around the world.  After selecting a country to explore kids will find facts, a history timeline, native lingo, and beautiful photos. They can even learn about a child’s “day in the life” experiences in that place.

Worldmapper

http://www.worldmapper.org/about.html

December is cartogram month in my classroom.  Currently my seventh graders are working with cartograms (a cartogram re-sizes each territory according to the variable being mapped) that represent consumption patterns in the United States.  This website has hundreds of maps that provide students with a unique perspectiveof the world.

iNaturalist

http://www.inaturalist.org/

INaturalist is a website devoted to the global collection of natural observations of both flora and fauna.  We have been and will be using this website and the app that goes with it to create Bio Blitz opportunities.  The site and the related app that will work on a smart phone or tablet allow you and your students to collect, document and see real time data.  This is an excellent resource for students of all ages to get them out and doing real science.  

ProCon

http://www.procon.org/

ProCon.org is a nonprofit website devoted to presenting different points of view in an unbiased format on many different issues facing our society today.  As an American Government teacher I find many ways to use the information on this website.  It would be very easy to connect the material on this website into a Geography classroom. They have information on everything from Climate Change to Vegetarianism.  The site is well designed with each topic having the two sides well detailed.  If you like debates in class this is the site for you.

Geography Education

http://geographyeducation.org/

Dr. Seth Dixon has created this awesome website as a resource for both students and educators to find support materials for lessons and assignments.  The website compiles articles, research, maps, photos, links and much more into a easily accessible platform for all to use.  Dr. Dixon was our keynote speaker at this past November’s Geofest and took the participants on an interesting journey of Geography using his website’s materials.

TerraFly

http://terrafly.fiu.edu/

Wow!  Another great aerial map resource.  Terrafly allows the user to navigate and learn about many of the great cities in the United States and the World.  It does much more though.  The website combines census, spatial and historical data with aerial maps to allow users to research the human geography of selected areas in the United States.  This takes ESRI technology to an even higher standard and puts it at the user’s fingertips.

November 2015

Into the Map

http://www.intothemap.org/

It’s here!  The new Into the Map website was created by Wisconsin teachers for Wisconsin teachers.  This website utilites online activities for students to become comfortable with basic map skills such as direction, scale, latitude and longitude.  Thematic maps of Wisconsin are incorporated.  Check it out.  Teacher resources are included on the website.

Global Trek

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/globaltrek/

This is a good site for students who are planning to travel or want to travel virtually to another part of the world.

National Geographic Education

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/st/?ar_a=4

This website contains all things National Geographic!  My students go here to watch recommended videos, seek images, mapas and information on the region of the world we are studying.  There also games and activities among other interests on the site.

CIA World Factbook

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook

The World Factbook was created for policymakers around the world. It provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

October 2015

Scribble States

http://www.jmtb02.com/scribblestates/

This site made the list because it is just good fun.  Students connect the dots with a virtual pencil, identify the state correctly and answer a question about the state to gather points.  The activity is timed as well!  I’d recommend ear buds or turning the sound down with a group of students all playing! :)

Sheppards Software

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm

Building a mental map of the world requires some mental exercise I tell my students.  Sheppards Software does a nice job of taking my students from where they are at and building upon their knowledge.  The beginning levels give clues and hints while the more advanced levels challenge their spacial awareness.  Students can move through nine levels, Tutorial to Cartographer, in each region of the world.

MapMaker Interactive

http://mapmaker.education.nationalgeographic.com/

This website allows students to produce a variety of maps. I start slow at the beginning of the year, having the students create a terrain map labeling continents and oceans and as the year goes on the students get better and better at layering information and creating thematic maps specific to topics in class.    The maps can be saved and edited for up to 6 months.  

Walk through the Continents

http://www.yourchildlearns.com/megamaps.htm

Printing large maps for the classroom can provide a variety of learning experiences for students.  This website allows you to determine the size from single sheet outlines to wall size creations students can assemble.  I have used the continent single sheet maps in the primary classroom for continent transformations and the larger maps for student created thematic maps in a middle school classroom.  

Geo Bee Quiz

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/

Each fall our school participates in the National Geographic Bee.  This website gives my students an opportunity to answer 10 Bee questions a day. Click on the the. Take the Quiz, tab and students can answer as a class or individually.  Accuracy and speed determine their finishing position on the leaderboard.  It is also the website for registering your school for the Bee. Registration opened in August.

 

September 2015

Mapping the World by Heart

http://www.mapping.com/educators.shtml

This link will take you to David Smith’s “Mapping the World by Heart” web page.  The site is a treasure trove of links and materials for helping students with their mapping skills.  Of all the things I did when I taught Geography, Smith’s Mapping the World by Heart was by far the best -  and his website is full of all that great stuff and more.

Political Cartoons

https://www.politicalcartoons.com/

This is one of my favorite websites.  As an American Government teacher I see all kinds of connections with political cartoons to my curriculum.  I see just as many useful cartoons if I were teaching Geography all the time.  The  website is a daily compilation of the work of political cartoonists from around the world.  What a great resource for studying how people in other regions and countries think - and the issues that are important to them.  You can buy the cartoons in an HD format or for low resolution you can simply copy and paste them to any document.  The search engine also allows you to search archived material on any subject.

National Geographic Society BioBlitz

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/projects/bioblitz/

In support of WIGA’s upcoming participation in a BioBlitz next spring I thought I would highlight the NGS page on BioBlitz’s. The page highlights the work done on this year’s NGS BioBlitz in Hawaii as well as previous ones.  For those interested in planning or starting a BioBlitz in their area there are links to information for teachers and other leaders. The page does an awesome job of explaining and showing the real research that can be done by students and communities to help protect and study our natural resources.

Smithsonian

http://www.si.edu/

The Smithsonian Institution website would be a great site for students to do light research and look for current issues in Geography as well as many other cultural based topics.    This is an excellent source for teachers to find lesson plans and ideas.  Everything is well organized and easy to find.  Again, in an age of smaller budgets, most everything is free!

US Geological Survey

http://www.usgs.gov/

Here is a great site for maps, data, pictures and many other resources for both teachers and students.  The USGS website is full of materials and downloadable maps that are free!  The website is well designed and the education page is further divided by grade levels between elementary, middle/high and undergrad to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

August 2015

Celebrating a World of Cheese

http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2015/celebrating-a-world-of-cheese/

Cheese lovers and geography nuts will love this new entry from the great team at ESRI story maps.  This is another great example of using the interactive map applications to show geographic relationships.  This story map teaches about the history of cheese, how awesome and connected is that.  Search for more story maps at storymaps.esri.com

Geography World

http://geographyworldonline.com/index.html

This is a simple but huge website that compiles hundreds of links and organizes them into an understandable format.  Great for research into many different topics of geography.

A World of Cultures

http://www.worldofcultures.org/1024/index.htm

For students and teachers studying world cultures this is a solid website that compiles and indexes information and links to maps, travel info, and data in a easy to use format.

World Culture Encyclopedia

http://www.everyculture.com

This is a nice online encyclopedia of world cultural information.  It has a user driven interface so you need to be a little careful of the data, but it would be great for elementary and middle school world cultural studies.

Teaching American History

http://teachingamericanhistory.org

Ok, so this website is more history and government than geography but it is so awesome that I had to include it.  This is the result of years of work by Professor Gordon Lloyd from the Ashbrook Center.  Dr. Lloyd has created a website using amazing interactive methods to make exploring the creation of our country and our constitution easy and engrossing.  Check out the interactive map in the Constitutional Convention section.

July 2015

National Geographic Society Education Website

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1

NGS has a fantastic website for anyone interested in geography whether you are a student, teacher or just interested in the topic.  The site has materials ranging from archived NGS articles to printable maps and data.  This is the must go to site for all those interested in Geographic Education.

ESRI Story Maps

http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/

ESRI ArcGIS is the leading company in digital map creation.  They have a huge commitment to education and as part of that commitment they have created an online store house for a product they call Story Maps.  Story Maps are themed interactive maps that express data in a visual format.  The Story Maps on the site are produced by both users and ESRI researchers.  The site is fully searchable to the public and can provide teachers and students with excellent sources of data to further their inquiries.

Urban Observatory

http://www.urbanobservatory.org/compare/index.html

This is a website that could be used by teachers or students to both answer questions and create them.  It would be a great tool to get kids questioning land use and the spaces around them.  It allows the user to select three world cities and compare different data sets between the three places.

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_history_of_american_slavery/2015/06/animated_interactive_of_the_history_of_the_atlantic_slave_trade.html

This is a post off of the Slate website.  It is an excellent and haunting expression of the data behind the expansion and growth of the Atlantic Slave Trade.  This would be an excellent way for either an American History teacher to show their students the growth of this horrible institution or a Geography teacher as an example of human movement in this case forced migration

Washington Post - 40 Maps that explain the World

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/01/13/40-more-maps-that-explain-the-world/

The Post has put together a great series of maps in this article.  They range from population demographic to historic maps.  Teachers and students could use some or all of these maps to develop many questions and answers in some form of an inquiry based lesson.