I hope this is relevant. My wife and I are taking a 400-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students. We will be publishing emails, photos and video from 50 counties and 6 continents. We leave in January. So, perhaps this will be useful next Winter/Spring term. You can see an example here: http://www.trekkingtheplanet.net/docs/W02_Hawaii_Education_Module.pdf.
We could sure use your help. Can you say whether this is relevant in your classroom? If not, what should we change in order to make it easier to leverage? We plan on producing 64 of these modules. We have produced 11 so far. Our materials are totally free. They are published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerial 3.0 Unported license. This means they can be freely copied, distributed and transmitted. They can also be used to produce derivative works (e.g., book reports). We are also hoping to field questions from students while we are on the road.
Darren, this is awesome. It would totally be relevant in a classroom setting to give students a sense of how big the world is. For my students, some of whom never leave the state of Louisiana, this is a great tool to pique their interest in other places. I was wondering about the possiblity of whether or not you would be open to answering questions from students after they have had the opportunity to look at the modules.
Thank you so much for the work you are doing.
Yes. This is our plan. We want to have a two-way conversation. This will increase engagement and help us to further engage kids.
This is not the first time we have done this. In 2003/4 we took our two daughters around the world. While we were gone, we sent weekly emails with pictures home to our kids' school. We found out later that these emails were read to all of the students! When we were nearing the end of our trip, we sent out a final email to ask for questions. We got a ton of them. We built a whole presentation and delivered it after we returned. Our daughters presented too!
So, you see that Trekking the Planet, takes the whole experience to the next level. Emails and pictures like last time, but also video and these educational modules. We even have a map on our home page. It uses Google Latitude which is a free service which tracks our location. I wouldn't normally use such a service. But, for the trip, it's perfect. Oh and one more thing is that we hope to visit schools when we are on the trip. So this is another opportunity for "two-way" conversation. Still working on this one.
That is seriously the coolest thing I have ever heard of. I had the opportunity to visit a school in India and that was a great experience. Your approach is not only unique but is in fact relevant to students and teachers. Being able to follow your journey across the globe and look into the lives of real people is so much better than reading a textbook. I for one, am looking forward to hearing more.
If you don't mind. I've started my own free social studies web-resource: www.gosocialstudiesgo.com do you mind if I incorporate this?
Good luck to you guys
I just finished reviewing your site, www.gosocialstudiesgo.com and I think it's AWESOME! I love the book technology that you are using - It was great to flip through some of the resources that you have curated. I'm sure that was a lot of work! I see that you have used a lot of video which I think is so powerful with kids these days. I reviewed your online book on the Sahel. I found it relevant, because we just finished our education module on Burkina Faso. In our module, we briefly cover the Sahel under the physical geography section of this country.
Of course, you can corporate our materials! They are published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerial 3.0 Unported license. This means they can be freely copied, distributed and transmitted. They can also be used to produce derivative works. The only limitation is that Trekking the Planet receives attribution (credit) and that they remain under Creative Commons on your site. For more information see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.
Thank you so much for your encourangement. It means a lot to us! If you have any other questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.
Best of luck!
I certainly need to make a literal comprehensive toolbox, but Diigo is a must for us. While not necessarily Social Studies specific, it is a must for us. If you and your students work a lot online, Diigo can be used in several ways.
While most people take Diigo as a simple social bookmarking tool, its functionality extends way beyond that. I have students who contact me once they've moved on to college to thank me for this tool because it has been invaluable to them in their college career.