Once again it’s time for the annual National Geographic Bee. Eric Yang has won this year’s contest with a perfect score. Pretty impressive! Congratulations to Eric and let’s hope he keeps his love of geography into his adulthood!
In Part 1 of my comments on Aspiring Academics: A Resource Book for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty from the AAG I focused on online resources to build on the concepts offered in the text. With Part 2, which covers chapters 6-10 on developing and enhancing teaching and advising skills I will just be offering up my personal comments. To go beyond what this section of the book has to offer you have to get into the education literature yourself.
Chapter 6 – Designing Significant Learning Experiences
-If you haven’t figured it out already, this is the key question for me and hopefully anyone teaching whether at a community college, teaching university or Research I institution. There is a simple suggestion that I can make to go along with this chapter…take teaching/education classes. Much as we have theory and methodologies to support our research in our domain area, educators have an existing literature on the ways in which to convey ideas, reinforce critical thinking, and even how to get students in the classroom on sunny days in Spring. I have taken three courses on using technology in the classroom and plan to continue to take classes now that my dissertation is coming to an end, not because it is required, but because there is so much more to know about being an effective instructor.
We recently had the chance to talk to Keith Masback, President of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, back on Episode 189 of the podcast. Part of the conversation was on the thousands of dollars that give away each year to students who are interested in pursuing a degree that leads to a geospatial intelligence career. These are open to graduate and undergraduate students as well as graduating high school seniors. The deadline for this year’s scholarship competition is quickly approaching (May 29, 2009) so get cracking. Full details and downloadable application materials are available on the USGIF website.
Another random aside from Jesse…I have noticed a few different sources talking about the fact that information is best distributed in manageable amounts with sleep or significant rest time between portions (of knowledge). The fact that so many people are talking about this surprises me, not because it isn’t true, but because of the amount of time this has been discussed. This has been discussed in cognitive literature for a while, but seems to be getting more attention now in the education literature. It isn’t a matter of these folks didn’t read the correct literature in their field, it is the lack of interdisciplinarity in much of this education and cognitive research. It is also an issue that there are SO MANY sources out there that it is impossible to research them all and still do research of your own.
The recent AAG text Aspiring Academics: A Resource Book for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty edited by Solem, Foote and Monk (2009) offers a great deal of information in just a few pages (212 pages). Clearly as a book aimed at academics it references other academic materials on the various topics. As I read through the text on the flight back from Las Vegas I thought of several online and ‘real world’ examples and resources that might be useful to readers. This post covers section 1 of the book, chapters 1-5.
Chapter 1 Time Management
-GTD is the acronym for the philosophy that spread through tech and business sectors. David Allen’s ‘getting things done’ is an effective way to plan your activities and projects. No one does GTD more amusingly than merlin Mann of 43 folders.
Chapter 2 Career Planning
-This is a significant area of importance and due to the restrictions of the text’s topic looks at only the academic issues. But with the market as it is and the reality of changing interests through the grad school we have to look at jobs in government and the private sector as well. There several jobs that ate outside of academia that allow for research, teaching and service just like that plumb tenure track job that you could have gone after.
Just got my latest MyWonderfulWorld e-newsletter, and National Geographic and SunChips are announcing a new initiative called the Green Effect, which will award $20,000 each to 5 individuals or groups to implement their community green project.
The contest opens on April 22nd and runs until June 8th. You’ll be able submit your green idea to the Green Effect website (the submission page isn’t live yet), and on July 7th, 10 finalists will be announced (Each of the finalists will get a Flip video camera!). The finalists will be judged again, and there will be online voting as well. The winners will be announced around July 21st.
So come on out there! Get your green thinking caps on and, if you’ve got an idea that can help your community become greener, write it up and submit it!
Although not strictly geography-related, I really wanted to post about the US Library of Congress utilizing YouTube to make digital versions of some of the earliest motion pictures ever recorded available online. The LOC’s collections are amazing historical treasures, and cover a wide variety of topics. You can find out more about the Library of Congress’s holdings at their website. Although many of the videos are also available directly on the LOC website, the YouTube partnership is great because it makes these motion pictures easily searchable by the huge YouTube user base.
I spent a few minutes checking out the LOC’s YouTube channel, and picked out one example, Native American members of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show performing the Sioux Ghost Dance in 1894:
Just got a bit of news that’s not been officially announced but kicking around the state – the K-12 schools in West Virginia are getting a 3 year license for ESRI software, donated from ESRI itself! I’m a little unclear exactly how much of the software they’re getting (does it include server for example?), but it will be a state wide site license and prominately feature the full ArcGIS license. Supposedly the high schools and middle schools have greatly expanded their computer infrastructure, so they’ll have access to equipment that can run the software. I’m slightly curious about hand-held stuff too, as I doubt many schools have GPS units capable of running ArcPad. However, despite the vaugaries, this is pretty exciting news. Kids who otherwise would have zero exposure to GIS and Geospatial technologies are going to get some good, hands on experience with arguablly the most widespread tools in the business. That can’t help but be good for West Virginia.
ETA: Made it clearer this is a donation from ESRI.
Rock n’ roll lovers everywhere – now you can help remember your geography skills by rocking out with Teacher and the Rockbots, as they sing classics like “Continents,” “How to Read a Map, and “Supply and Demand” from their album “World”
Teacher and the Rockbots is an educational site that also has 3 other music CDs to go along with “World” – “Science”, “America”, and “Multiplication.” So yes, while they’re really geared toward elementary school students, kids of all ages will find themselves cranking up their iPod for these catchy rock tunes.
You can buy “World” through the Teacher and the Rockbots site for $12.99, or you can download it from iTunes for $9.99
This is the last reminder of the New Media in Education survey we would like you to complete to support a paper that we are finishing up. The survey, which closes Wednesday, is intended for anyone who is involved in education/training at any level. It is a short survey that should only take 2-4 minutes of your day. The general results will be shared on the VerySpatial and will be included in a paper we will be submitting in the next month or so.
Thanks for your time!