Superintendent's Memo #040-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 20, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: World Geography Connects: 1500 A.D. to the Present – An interactive Online Course Beginning March 23, 2009

World Geography Connects: 1500 A.D. to the Present, an interactive online course for Virginia teachers, will be offered this spring from March 23, 2009, through May 1, 2009. This class supports the Standards of Learning for teaching World History and Geography: 1500 A.D. to the Present. Participants who complete the course may be eligible for license renewal points through their local school division.

The class will be offered on the Internet at Registration may be completed at the same website. Those wishing to receive graduate credit should also register online with Old Dominion University for Geography 650. Instructions for graduate registration are found at
. Teachers may register through March 6, 2009.

The goals of the course are as follows:

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:

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. If further information is needed, please contact him by e-mail at or by telephone at (757) 368-4113. Although the course content is the same for everyone, teachers enrolled in World Geography Connects 1500 A.D. to the Present 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.