Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Geography 2.0: The Future of Geography in the Classroom - QSA Conference 2011

Web 2.0 technology and social media are now a large part of our everyday lives. The challenge as educators is to use these tools effectively in the classroom, so that they enhance current teaching practice. This is particularly the case in Geography. The development of Web 2.0, if anything, has promoted the importance of Geography as a way of organising information.

"There has been an increased awareness by numerous Web 2.0 technologists of the importance of geography and location as a means to index and access information over the Internet. As a result, over the last few years, geographic information could be argued to have firmly entered the mainstream information economy." Geography Compass 2008

So, what does this mean for Geography in the classroom?

In the words of Ken Robinson....

His previous talk - Do School's Kill Creativity? can be viewed by clicking on the link.

Today's workshop will provide a very very quick overview of some of the many tools that are available online (and mostly for free) to use in the classroom. Before we start, we should consider the impact that Web2.0 technology and social media have had on the way we live.

What is Web 2.0 Technology?
What is Web 2.0?
View more presentations from Rebecca Nicholas.

Web2.0 or social media will allow you to innovate in your teaching practice. Here are some examples of how.

1. Providing an Online Resource for your Class


Bec's Classes 2010

Creating an blog is not difficult. The video below shows a step by step instruction on how to create a blog using Edublogs or Global Teacher.

And this shows you how to embed a Youtube video (or any video) into your blog.

New blogging sites are popping up every day. Another you can use with the advantage of not having an email to sign up with is 21 Classes.


Unit Four Geography Climate Change Wiki

The following video provides a step-by-step guide on setting up your first wiki. This video uses wikispaces however there are other options, such as pbwiki.

Adding to Your Blog or Wiki

Slideshare allows you to upload powerpoint or keynote presentations and then embed them into a wiki or blog.

Presi - A site that allows you to create interesting presentation, either on or offline. These can be uploaded and then embedded in your blog or wiki.


Drag on Tape - This is a site that allows you to create mixtapes of your favourite Youtube videos. A demo is outlined below...

Dragontape Demo Video from Dragontape on Vimeo.

Xtranormal - This is a great site that allows students to make their own digital animations by typing in text.

Collaborating with Images


Shwup - Allows students to collaborate and share photos and vidoes online in a secure environment. The answer to the problems associated with different students taking photos on a fieldtrip.

Jaycut - An online tool that allows students to create their own movies using images, video footage and sound. It is very similar to iMovie but you don't need the software...


Bec's Race Class

This is a great tool, similar to facebook, that allows students to collaborate online. The best way to use a ning is to ensure that you have a purpose and understand what you want out of the technology.

2. Tools to Collaborate in the Classroom


This is a great site that allows you to post and brainstorm information. It is very handy when watching videos or discussing a topic. I used it specifically to diamond rank factors associated with issues.

EdModo - Like Twitter, but can be used in the classroom. Something to consider trialling as you watch a video or discussion in class.

Another example uses the same idea as Twitter - TodaysMeet

Wordle - A brainstorming tool that allows students to create and determine the importance of words associated with a concept.
For example, an article from the New Scientist on the Cancun Climate Change talks can be converted to something like this for discussion.

3. Excellent Links to Provide the Content and Activities on Blogs and Wikis

Geography Animated - is a geography teacher's internet site with all things Geography. In particular, the site has links to animations on everything that you can think of. Here is just one example on the formation of meanders and ox-bow lakes.

Gapminder - One of my favourite sites for the year. The best tool to compare data on most gobal topics - more than just population and development.

Mapping - Google Earth, Google Maps and Others

Google Maps and Google Earth are amazing tools for Geography teachers. Both mapping tools are updated frequently. There is not enough time today to show you everything that Google Earth and Maps can do.... but below are some examples of how to use Google Maps and Earth in the classroom.

View Numinbah Catchment Field Trip in a larger map

CIA Factbook in Google Earth


BBC Dimensions - How Big Is It Really?

Scribble Maps

Simple Guide Tool - A site that incorporates Google Street View, Google Maps and live video chat. A user can speak to someone else online and provide a 'guided tour' of the location. Wonderful for fieldwork, and particularly for schools that speak to other schools overseas.

MappyFriends - How Big is Your World - A site that allows you to provide reviews and information on places you have visited.

TripLine - Allows the user to make shareable, animated maps with photos, music and stories.

Other Resources

Education Eye - A search engine that maps educational innovation and categorises news sites by research and practice. A great teacher resource to remain up-to-date.

We are Teachers
- A collaborative site where teachers share innovative ideas and teaching practice.

Geography 2.0: A Juicy Way to Mash Up Learning

Web 2.0 Tools from Mr Smith's World Geography at Room203

Contour Education - This is a great resource for spatial technologies and any new Web 2.0 tools associated with maps.


National Geographic Tropical Island Infinite Photo