P.O. BOX 2120



August 25, 2006



Division Superintendents



Dr. Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



World Geography Connects to 1500 A.D. An Interactive Online Geography Course Beginning October 16, 2006


World Geography Connects to 1500 A.D., an interactive online course for Virginia teachers, will be taught this fall. This class supports the Standards of Learning for teaching World History and Geography 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 and is supported with a CD-ROM. Registration may be completed online at that website. Teachers may register from September 5, 2006, through September 26, 2006, and the class starts October 16, 2006. The course ends November 27, 2006.


The goals of the course are as follows:

  • connect the events of world history to their geographical foundations;
  • connect the events of world history to the contemporary world in which we live;
  • connect the events of world history to events in Virginia and the United States; 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:

  • landscapes of the modern world;
  • old world, new world, one world;
  • political geography of the Twentieth Century;
  • trade, technology, and the quality of life; and
  • the Indian sub-continent.


Dr. 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 instruction to meet the Standards of Learning. Please contact him at or at (757) 368-4113 for information about earning graduate credit. Although the course content is the same for everyone, teachers enrolled in World Geography Connects to 1500 A.D. for credit will be required to complete a lesson or unit plan.


For more information, please contact Beverly Thurston, coordinator, history and social science, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at, or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.