Geography revolution, next wave: Ready in your classroom?


Depression presents a serious occupational hazard, moving back and forth between the classroom and business, classroom and internet. When do administrators and legislators get serious about catching up education?

Microsoft plans a product announcement at the end of this month. Rumors claim it’s a new version of Photosynth. Photosynth mades “3D” touring by computer possible for almost any destination.

I’ll wager not a single classroom in the nation is ready to make this work. If you disagree, I’d love to hear about the class that can make use of it.

System requirements for Photosynth won’t tax the computers that most high school gamers use, but they are beyond most of the classroom computers I’ve seen in the last five years.

Probably more to the point, curriculum designers in public schools don’t even have Google Earth on their horizons. Photosynth? I’ll wager it’s not even on the radar screens of GIS users in the nation’s Council of Governments (COGS).

Geography is an exploding discipline. GIS and computerized map programs make cell phone companies go, not to mention oil and gas exploration, coal mining, air pollution monitoring (for building new power plants, for example), and road building. GPS helps drive express shipping, and all other shipping. RFI and GPS together are revolutionizing retail.

You must know how to read a map just to get a job delivering pizza.

But 9th grade geography classes? The exciting stuff is absent today.

At the Texas Education Agency (TEA), officials fret about how to stop science from being taught in science classes, for fear the facts will skew the religious beliefs of their children. They need to worry about their children not even getting hired by the pizza delivery company for being ignorant of nature and science, and the maps that show them. In a competitive, technologically savvy world, inaction, dithering and damaging action by the TEA mean our kids won’t even have a prayer.

Relevant posts:

One Response to Geography revolution, next wave: Ready in your classroom?

  1. UtahTeacher says:

    I didn’t really get what Photosynth is from scanning that other blog, but our students at least have access to Google Earth. We have two labs that have Google Earth shortcuts on the desktop. It is one of the few internet things the students are allowed to mess around with when using the computers outside of class time. I would love to know if the History/Geography teachers are using it, but I’m not sure. The students have been right on the new Streets feature with pictures of their houses. I’m thinking of doing some sort of extra credit research riddle which requires students to use Google Earth on their own time to find some visual clues.

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