As our world becomes more and more connected through the internet and the ability to travel easily, it is more and more important for students to learn geography and understand the world they are part of.
Many jobs have people all over the world working together on projects, many involve travel and many require interaction with other cultures.
All this means Geography is a very exciting and relevant subject to study – but all the excitement can so easily be destroyed by a dull text book and worksheets.
But you won’t find any of those in our online course! This course is intended for high school homeschoolers and after the completion of both semesters they will have earned one full credit. Younger students may take it – but bear in mind the course load is high school level. And of course non-homeschoolers can enroll too. Any students are welcome – but there will be about 4 hours work each week.
How will the content be delivered?
Video allows students to actually “see” the place they are studying. They can hear the sounds and watch the people. You may occasionally need to rent videos though we will try and use free material. We even have videos that people around the world are creating just for this class. I have asked international users of the Storie app, to create short videos of a day in their lives. Here is one of them from Martina who lives in Bern.
Students will be assigned various topics to research – and their research will then be shared with their classmates in creative ways. They definitely won’t be completing worksheets! It is important that students are “active” learners. Benjamin Franklin said
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
The websites won’t be ones that are just “textbook clones”. They might be games, or scavenger hunts, or Google earth! There are so many really engaging websites that take “experiencing” Geography to a whole new level. Webcams and 3D technology can help students feel like they are really there!
4. Interactions with locals
Students will each have a penpal in another country to interact with and I will also organize live video sessions with internationals (these will be recorded for those unable to attend live).
How will the students’ understanding of the work be assessed?
Our aim is to achieve a broad knowledge of world geography, and that students will retain much of this knowledge well after the class has ended. We are not huge fans of tests as a means of assessment but will rather use:
* Quizzes – these will be short and taken during or straight after instruction to check students are paying attention They will be able to re-take them if they realized they had been daydreaming.
* Online games are a great way for students to learn where countries are, their capitals etc. Some of these have dashboards for teachers, but in other cases we will require a screen shot as proof of mastery
* Game creation – students will need to research and create games. And then of course they will play each others games.
* Presentation of their research – this will take different forms but will include short paragraphs, videos, posters, websites and itinerary planning.
The work will take students about 4 hours each week. They will be able to work anytime they want to – but there will be deadlines and they will have to keep up. On occasions they will be working with classmates collaboratively and they will be doing peer assessments and interacting with each other in the virtual classroom. So it will be like a regular classroom – just online!
WARNING: Your children may enjoy this so much that they will be begging you to travel. Or maybe FundaFunda should just plan a round-the-world field trip for us all at the end of the course!
Ready to sign up? All are courses are here. Just scroll down to the Geography one.
Feel free to leave questions in the comments.