P.O. BOX 2120




December 14, 2001





Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Geography Connects An Interactive On-line Geography Course Beginning March 5, 2002


Geography Connects, an interactive on-line course for Virginia teachers to support the Standards of Learning for teaching World History to 1500 AD, will be offered this spring. The class is free for Virginia teachers, who may earn 30 recommended recertification points, or it may be taken for one graduate credit through Old Dominion University.


The class will be offered on the Internet at and is supported with a CD/ROM. Registration may be completed on-line at that website. Teachers must register by February 19, 2002, and the class starts March 5. The course ends on May 3.


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. The CD/ROM contains videos that explain the subject matter being discussed. Teachers will find many ideas, resources, and links that will assist them in the classroom. The course includes the following five topics: the 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 regularly works with Virginia teachers to improve their ability to teach the Standards of Learning. Please contact him at or at (757) 683-3841 for information about earning graduate credit. The course is the same, except teachers enrolled in Geography Connects for credit will be required to complete a lesson or unit plan.


For more information, please contact, Beverly Thurston (, specialist, history and social science, office of middle instructional services, at (804) 225-2893.