Educator Spotlight: Creating a Collage for Geoliteracy

Kathy Ho, this week’s Educator of the Week, created an art project focused on the colors of Arctic sea ice. Through this creative activity, students learned about a region of the world that was previously unfamiliar to them. They also considered the impact of climate change on Arctic sea ice and the animals that rely on it. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Creating a Collage for Geoliteracy

Wednesday Word of the Week: Harbor

Harbor (HAR-bur) [Physical Geography]Noun. A harbor is a body of water sheltered by natural or artificial barriers. Harbors can provide safe anchorage and permit the transfer of cargo and passengers between ships and the shore. A harbor is deep enough to keep ships from touching bottom and should give ships and boats enough room to turn and pass each other. Most harbors are natural. They … Continue reading Wednesday Word of the Week: Harbor

Wednesday Word of the Week: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: [physical geography] featuring the Plastiki
Noun: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex, lies in a high-pressure area between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

An ocean gyre is a circular ocean current formed by the Earth’s wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet. The area in the center of a gyre tends to be very calm and stable. The circular motion of the gyre draws in debris. Debris eventually makes its way into the center of the gyre, where it becomes trapped and builds up. A similar garbage patch exists in the Atlantic Ocean, in the North Atlantic Gyre. Read more about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch on our website!2011-09-28_0000057.JPG

Continue reading “Wednesday Word of the Week: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

Danny Edelson: Tricorders–The Next Tool for Geographic Learning?

Tricorders–The Next Tool for Geographic Learning?
“Geo Learning”
by Daniel C. Edelson

Vice President for Education
National Geographic Society

If you’re of a certain age, you probably find yourself looking around and remarking on how much today’s world looks like the world that Gene Roddenberry imagined in the original Star Trek series. OK, we don’t have transporters or warp drives. But we do have computers you can talk to, two-way video communications, and devices that work like communicators and tricorders.

There is a lot of discussion these days about what impact these Star Trek technologies might have on education. In just the last couple months, I attended a one-day summit on the promise of wireless technologies for education and a two-day workshop on the use of mobile devices for citizen science.

For geoliteracy, I think these devices offer amazing opportunities to move learning outside the school building, and we’ve been designing software at National Geographic that students will be able to take into the world on handhelds that will enable them to record observations, combine them with observations of others, and analyze them for geospatial patterns. However, an inescapable challenge of learning in the real world is that the real world is complex and unpredictable. Sometimes it is too complex and unpredictable to enable you to be sure that you can teach specific relationships or skills through real-world experiences.

Continue reading “Danny Edelson: Tricorders–The Next Tool for Geographic Learning?”