Sunday, May 17, 2009


One of my favorite presentations at the eLCC conference was a about educational use of Mashups. What’s a mashup? Wikipedia defines mash-ups as “a web application that combines data from one or more sources into a single integrated tool. The term Mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently done by access to open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data.”

One of my favorite ideas during the presentation was the combination of Google Maps, a free web mapping tool, for a Business course that asked students research the location of a business and how this effected the possible success of a business. Real estate agents have already been using this tool to add a little information about properties to maps for home buyers.

Like you, I started brainstorming about how to apply this concept to a history course. An assignment might require students to identify key locations on a map such as various battles of the Civil War and then add brief notes about the significance of each. An assignment such as this would not only help students organize key events but also understand more about the significance of geography to history outcomes.

Regardless of whether you incorporate Web 2.0 technology, geography is too often neglected as we race to cover so many events in a short time. The National Commission on Social Studies in the Schools was formed in 1987 to study the state of social studies in the schools and to make recommendations for curricular change. At this site you will find recommendations and strategies for emphasizing history and geography in grades K-12. Additionally, there are many other useful resources to help us teach the impact of geography on historical events. Also, check out the National Geographic web site that has lessons plans that use geography to learn about history.

1 comment:

Kelly Jones said...

Perfect post. Here’s a tool that helps create Map Mashup providing a step-by-step wizard that generates ready-to-deploy code on any website or blog