Next week is National Geography Awareness Week. Are you using the opportunity to look for an easy way to incorporate technology into your geography lessons? If so, you might consider one of the excellent collaborative projects available via e-mail. With technical tools no more sophisticated or costly than an e-mail browser, your students can interact with -- and learn from -- students, teachers, parents, grandparents, and others all around the world.
What better way is there to learn about the four corners of the world -- and every place in between -- than by virtually chatting with the people who live there?
Learn More About Teaching Geography with E-Mail
Education World has written about several collaborative projects that teach geography or connect participants through the use of email. They include:
Learning Geography Through E-Mail
A couple of years ago, some students in Bellingham, Washington, weren't even sure where to find Arizona on a map of the United States. Now, thanks to an e-mail activity initiated by their school's library media specialist, those same students can find Australia, Korea, and even Azerbaijan on a map of the world. Your kids can do it too!
GeoGame = Geography + Fun
GeoGame is Web-based geography project in which students solve clues to identify locations. Is your class up to the challenge? Then what are you waiting for? This popular project has been up and running since 1991! Learn how to play the game -- and discover how to submit clues about your own home town.
Kids Snap Communities in Internet Project
For the Internet project Communities Around the World, kindergarten and first grade students from four states took pictures in their hometowns, created PowerPoint presentations about their communities, and shared those presentations with one another via e-mail. Learn how the project worked.
Truckers, Kids Make Good Buddies
A program called Trucker Buddy International pairs cross-country truck drivers with schoolchildren, giving truckers an eager audience for their adventures; students, a driver's-eye view of the world; and both, proud and prolific pen pals. Find some Trucker-Buddy activities you can use in your classroom.
GeoPals: Global Friends Help Kids Learn About Writing
When Barbara Soto discovered a listserv whose members are active senior citizens, an idea occurred to her. Why not combine the seniors' knowledge and commitment with her students' need for adult influence? What started as an e-mail project blossomed into an outreach program called GeoPals!