P.O. BOX 2120




December 20, 2002




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



Geography Connects An Interactive Online Geography Course Beginning February 17, 2003


Geography Connects, an interactive online course for Virginia teachers, will be offered this spring. This class supports the Standards of Learning for teaching World History to 1500 AD. The class is free for Virginia teachers who wish to earn up to 45 recertification 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 January 6 to February 6, and the class starts February 17. The course ends on March 28.


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. Although the course 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 (, specialist, history and social science, office of middle instructional services, at (804) 225-2893.