COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 173

September 3, 2004

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Geography Connects An Interactive Online Geography Course Beginning October 18, 2004

 

Geography Connects, an interactive online course for Virginia teachers, will be offered this fall. This class supports the Standards of Learning for teaching World History to 1500 A.D. The class is free for Virginia teachers who wish to earn up to 45 license renewal points, or it may be taken for three graduate credits through Old Dominion University.

 

The class will be offered on the Internet at http://geoconnects.pwnet.org/ and is supported with a CD-ROM. Registration may be completed online at that website. Teachers may register from September 6 to October 4, 2004, and the class starts October 18, 2004. The course ends on November 29, 2004.

 

The goals of the course are as follows:

        connect the events of world history to their geographical foundations;

        connect the vocabulary of historical events and processes;

        connect the tools and concepts of geography to analyses of historical events; and

        provide lesson plans, resources, and links for classroom teachers.

 

The course consists of five components, each of which is expected to take approximately three hours. Each component includes learning and practice activities, letters from the instructor, resource links, a discussion board, and quizzes. Teachers will find many ideas, resources, and links that will assist them in the classroom. The course includes the following five topics:

        geography behind history;

        world political map;

        geography of religion;

        trade and commerce as shaped by geography and technology; and

        ancient Egypt and the Fertile Crescent.

 

Don Zeigler, a professor of geography at Old Dominion University since 1980, will teach the course. He works regularly with Virginia teachers to improve their ability to teach the Standards of Learning. Please contact him at dzeigler@odu.edu or at (757) 683-3841 for information about earning graduate credit. Although the course content is the same for everyone, teachers enrolled in Geography Connects for credit will be required to complete a lesson or unit plan.

 

For more information, please contact Beverly Thurston (bthursto@pen.k12.va.us), coordinator, history and social science, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at (804) 225-2893.

 

JLD/BT/yba