cluster map

Thursday, April 18, 2013

FW: OSEE Conference


It is always a good conference. Some years it has conflicted with our spring conference but not this year.  Mark




From: Murray, Ellen
Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:02 PM
To: Lowry, Mark
Subject: OSEE Conference


Hi Mark,

I was wondering if you could please help promote the Ontario Society for Environmental Education (OSEE) conference that is happening May 3/4.  This will be at Trent University and the next door Karwartha Outdoor Education Center.  We would really like more people to hear about the conference and would appreciate your help.


This conference has great workshops, and the Saturday focus is on outdoor activities.  Dave Ireland, from the ROM, will be talking about protecting biodiversity and Kim Wheatley about First Nations issues. Lots more information can be found at  If you could please forward this flyer and an postive message to all geography teachers that would be much appreciated.



Ellen Murray

OSEE Treasurer and Conference Organizer



Spring Toronto Geography Teachers hike and field event

Sent on Behalf of Dimitra Tsanos ( TGTA President) and the TGTA exec:

As we have done in previous years the TGTA is hosting a Spring event. This year there seems to be a great deal of interest in exploring the learning possibilities of the Rouge Valley National Urban park.

Some teachers in TDSB have taken students to the park and found it to be a rewarding experience. The parks staff is willing to demonstrate the various hikes, activities and facilities that they have to support field activities. However as with any excursion of this type trying to come up with a date is always the hardest part of the exercise.

To this end I have created a doodle for you to respond to . this will allow us to come up with a consensus date (hopefully) .

So please follow he link below and identify the dates that will work for you .

You have initiated a poll "Toronto Geography Teachers  spring field event" at Doodle. The link to your poll is:


Share this link with all those who should cast their votes. Do not forget to cast your vote, too.

Thanks Mark

Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark




Thursday, April 11, 2013

don't panic 2nd Geo-spatial Technologies learning module

I couldn’t help myself however here are a few great resources that I think some of you may enjoy and use!!
Why do Map Projections Matter?
This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) where cartography plays a key role in the plot.  In this episode the fictitious (but still on Facebook) group named “the Organization of Cartographers for Social Justice” is campaigning to have the President officially endorse the Gall-Peters Projection in schools and denounce theMercator projection.  The argument being that children will grow up thinking some places are not as important because they are minimized by the map projection.
When students ask why do we care about various map projections play this. It is extremely well done ,( in my opinion)

Tuesday April 9, 2013
Here are some pictures. Were they taken in space, or painted here on Earth?
One of the most enduring and inspiring side effects of space exploration is the pictures -- pictures of Earth taken from new heights; pictures of Earth's neighbors, taken from new angles; pictures that resemble, and in fact are, art. They are magical. They are mysterious. They are weird. They suggest, if they don't fully embody, why we go to the trouble of exploring in the first place.
And they often resemble art of a more earthly variety. Below is a collection of images -- some of them created by prolific space photographer Chris Hadfield, taken from the International Space Station (we'll call those "NASA"), some of them created by nearly-as-prolific painters here on Earth (we'll call those "MOMA"). Here's a game: Can you tell the difference between the two?
I certainly had fun with it
Here’s The Simpsons and what they have to say about outdoor education in these 4 clips chopped up. Terrific conversation starters on so many fronts as only Bart and the boys could do.
Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology
This is the review of a book but it gives enough info to make it of interest especially as we discuss GIS applications. Hard to believe the lengths that pet owners will go to . Read some of the comments also.

Global wealth inequality: What you never knew you never knew!!
If you though the video on America’s wealth was revealing well this 4 minute video takes it to the global level!! Great for World Issues , human and environment and resource management .
Plate Tectonics Introduction
Interest method of presentation. Great for quick grade 7 or 9 introduction. Or for that matter our grade 12’s who have decided to disregard any physical geography.  
Where are Quebec's Anglos? Map of population distribution from 2011 Census
Explore the map to find out where Anglophones live across the province. The map is based on Statistics Canada census data from 2011. It indicates the number of people in Quebec's census districts who self-indentify as Anglophone: meaning they selected English as their mother tongue; they selected English and French as their mother tongue; they selected English and a non-official language as their mother tongue; and a percentage of those who say English is the language most often used at home. Census districts where there is no data available are also indicated on the map. Curious about how Statistics Canada calculates the number of Anglos in Quebec?.
Also as I have mentioned a couple of times Malcolm MacInerneys blog from Australia has fabulous stuff in it !
This weeks is entitled “Beyond colouring in! Creative Geography teaching” and a number of interesting links .

Finally I would like to thank Paul Van Zant from the  Peel board for passing on Peter Mansbridge’s take on teachers. Boy there are days when we all need to re-read it .
worth sharing...
Cheers Mark
Mark Lowry
Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader
Social World Studies and Humanities
Toronto District School Board
1 Civic Centre Court
Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3
Tel; (416) 394-7269
Cell; (416) 576-4515
Fax; (416) 394-6420
twitter @geogmark

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Geo-spatial training and other events

Using Geotechnologies (Geo-visual and Geo-analytical) with the New Notebooks Gr7-12 / T&L-SWSH –For TDSB teachers
Grade 7-12 Geography teachers are invited to a 2 session module to train, and support curriculum, using geotechnologies to enhance the geographic Inquiry process. This two day workshop will be focused on and using the new TDSB notebooks. Particular attention will be placed on teaching /learning strategies, the thinking concepts in the new geography curriculum, the role of problem based learning to create authentic learning opportunities plus, assessment (as, for, and of learning).

Session 1 & 2 May 7 and 9 - location East York Collegiate, rm. tba
(there is an expectation that teachers commit to the entire cycle of sessions)

The Two sessions will include:
• Training in a range of geo-visual and geo -analytical tools including ArcGIS, ArcGIS online,  and Google Earth
• Explore various planning and Teaching learning strategies to support effective geographic Inquiry as spelled out in the new curriculum
• Deconstruct effective lessons and begin to co-plan specific lessons with a focus on problem based learning and authentic tasks 
• Use field studies including GPS, photo capture  and Geographic inquiry methods

Teaching and Learning will pay for two days of release. Space is limited to 20 participants. Please register on Key to Learn. After registration you will be emailed with your release code and further details.

Reminder of Pax warrior simulation
Pax Warrior is a Hybrid New Media product for the educational and training markets that extends the nascent "Interactive Documentary" form to incorporate decision based simulation and collaborative learning tools. It is at the lead of the new genre of "Serious Games".

We know that's a mouthful - so if you like you can just call Pax an engaging way to learn about history, civics, citizenship, social studies and current events! Others have so you'll be in good company!

Pax Warrior - The Experience : our introductory module - weaves the tragic story of the UN experience in Rwanda placing the user, first person, in the shoes of a UN Commander trying to maintain peace.

What are the terrible choices to be made? What would you have done in his shoes? What will you do to make sure this never happens again?

Log In here:

This shortcut should also work:

Pass: pax2012

Model UN at Albert Campbell
On behalf of the Secretariat of the Albert Campbell C.I. Model United Nations Conference (ACCIMUN), it is our pleasure to invite your school to participate in our Model UN held at Albert Campbell CI on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Please refer to website.

Mark Lowry
Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader
Social World Studies and Humanities
Toronto District School Board
1 Civic Centre Court
Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3
Tel; (416) 394-7269
Cell; (416) 576-4515
Fax; (416) 394-6420
twitter @geogmark

OAGEE Summer intitute for Geo -Spatial Technologies

Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark




Monday, April 8, 2013

Some Spring resources to Energize and Engage

I think spring is finally upon us!!

“With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. 

In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.” 
Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast

Some resources and strategies to energize and engage!!


Why Poverty? uses film to get people talking about poverty.

We commissioned eight documentaries from award-winning film makers and 30 shorts from new and emerging talents. The films are moving, subtle and thought-provoking stories, but they also tackle big issues and pose difficult questions.

The films were shown around the world in November 2012 on more than 70 national broadcasters. The documentaries are now all free to view online. We'll make them available on DVD and in languages other than English soon. We'll also be adding educational resources to help people use them as teaching tools.

Very interesting web site that addresses poverty from many angles. I especially liked the video on oil drum boats. Many great supports that are part of the web site.

A Digital worksheet is still a worksheet.

“ When it comes to technology too many believe that by dropping it into a classroom magic happens. Even the most ardent supporter of tech will tell you that does not, and never will happen.”

Interesting read

Search for four maps with one search

This resource speaks for itself. Great for comparing various spatial search engines


Tangled vines. Endless rain. Dodgy hotel rooms. Mud. Biting flies. Aggressive viruses...Perfection.

Is this a vacation? Erik Boomer, Tyler Bradt, Galen Volckhausen, Tim Kemple, Anson Fogel, Blake Hendrix and Skip Armstrong hunt the remote Mexican jungle for the perfect waterfall...and the perfect shot. Paddler and cinematographer alike explore a world beyond the expected.

Many geographical and topographical applications. Most importantly it is a fabulous video

Topographic Map Activities

Use this scaleable set of seamless topographic maps, in this case from the USGS, inside ArcGIS Online to examine the physical and cultural geography of the USA. 20 separate landform features examined, including tombolo, col, salt dome, lava beds, marine terraces, and much more. Depending on the scale of your ArcGIS Online map, the USGS topographic maps will display as follows: 1:24,000-scale 1:100,000-scale 1:250,000-scale Notes included for studies outside the USA.

Very transferable for Canadian work and other international areas

New Top of the World and High Resolution Satellite Imagery

We are excited to introduce our new top of the world imagery - which includes bathymetry data from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. We are also releasing over 13 million sq km of updated satellite imagery!

Bing can be a great alternative to Google Earth and maps. It is fun to compare when certain areas were shot. Great for comparisons over time.

Sinkholes around the world - in pictures

From Guatemala to China, sinkholes come in all shapes and sizes. Who ever thought?

Explore the ocean with Google Maps

Google Maps strives to provide people around the globe with the most comprehensive, accurate and usable map of the world - including the underwater world. This ocean collection includes six of the world's most incredible underwater spots, including coral reefs (and their inhabitants) in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii. This imagery is available to millions of people through the Street View feature of Google Maps and in our Street View Gallery at:

The Shifting Diets of a Fast-Urbanizing World

Here, Popkin talks about the complex reasons for why developing nations are adopting America-like food systems, and why reverting back to more traditional, nutritional diets en masse is going to be difficult, to say the least.

Video on the wealth inequality in the US

This video presents the fascinating misconceptions surrounding the perceived extent of wealth inequality in the US. The central theme is that there is such a disconnect between what is seemed to be the reality, what is seemed to be the ideal and what IS the actual.

Royal Geographic Society – Ask the experts series

Explore the growing series of interviews and questions and answers (Q&As) from leading geographical experts and practitioners on a variety of topics that are available on the Geography in the News website.

Topics range from Geophysical Global Events and GIS for disaster management to urban climatology and ocean acidification.

The Water Cycle

Viewed from space, one of the most striking features of our home planet is the water, in both liquid and frozen forms, that covers approximately 75% of the Earth’s surface. Geologic evidence suggests that large amounts of water have likely flowed on Earth for the past 3.8 billion years—most of its existence. Believed to have initially arrived on the surface through the emissions of ancient volcanoes, water is a vital substance that sets the Earth apart from the rest of the planets in our solar system. In particular, water appears to be a necessary ingredient for the development and nourishment of life.

This is a terrific overview !

Infographic: How Do Natural Gas Pipelines Work?

Great visualization on Pipelines . Very topical and works well on an interactive whiteboard


Where does our sense of time come from?

It’s no longer possible to think of time as ticking along at a constant rate since the universe was born, separate from our own human perceptions.

An interesting 90 second Podcast

The Oceans Like You Have Never Seen Them Before

This video provides a global tour of sea surface salinity using measurements taken by NASA’s Aquarius instrument aboard the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft, from December 2011 through December 2012. Red represents areas of high salinity, while blue represents areas of low salinity. Aquarius is a focused effort to measure sea surface salinity and will provide the global view of salinity variability needed for climate studies. The mission is a collaboration between NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina

How Code-Switching Explains The World

Interesting explanation of how we are melding world wide

Google Maps Engine Lite - Create Advanced Custom Google Maps

For years Google Maps had the option for creating custom placemarks and basic shapes in the "my maps" option in your account. But if you want to further customize your maps you really had to do that work in Google Earth. Yesterday, Google introduced Maps Engine Lite which bridges the gap between creating basic custom maps in Google Maps and creating custom layers in Google Earth.

Looks like it should have some interesting Applications. This is also a very interesting Blog


Why our turbulent weather is getting even harder to predict?

Our weather, always unpredictable, is now fluctuating on a grand scale and becoming increasingly hard to forecast long-term. The challenge for meteorologists is to explain these unexpected outbreaks of climatic unpleasantness.

Great Source of Visualized World Data

Ken Jennings: Watson, Jeopardy and me, the obsolete know-it-all

Trivia whiz Ken Jennings has made a career as a keeper of facts; he holds the longest winning streak in history on the U.S. game show Jeopardy. But in 2011, he played a challenge match against supercomputer Watson -- and lost. With humor and humility, Jennings tells us how it felt to have a computer literally beat him at his own game, and also makes the case for good old-fashioned human knowledge.

Interesting discussion points. Would be great for class discussion

How Geography Paved the Way for Women in Science and Cultivated the Values of American Democracy

by Maria Popova

Education historian Kim Tolley traces how the curious reversal of gender norms — much like the inversion of the pink-and-blue paradigm — took place and how geography, more than any other discipline, opened the door to science for women.


Plastic pollution in the oceans represents a major global environmental challenge. At a global scale, man-made debris has been observed to accumulate in remote areas of the ocean in large circulating gyres. The source of this plastic is assumed to be mostly land based, however little is known about the relative contribution of different land based sources to each gyre.


And here is a whole raft of various resources thanks to Anne Smith at Queens (these have not all been vetted but I am sure they will be outstanding )  (Thinking like a Geographer video) my favourite  (overfishing simulation)

this one looks very useful

Stompin' Tom Connors's songs mapped!/entry/meet-the-tar-sands-pollution-refugees,5137ba4cd7fc7b56705ab786$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=2011$zpv;v=0$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=phAwcNAVuyj1jiMAkmq1iMg;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=0Auk0ddvGIrGqcHlqNnRTY1pxbUVka1hObHlPbTlmUUE;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=0Auk0ddvGIrGqcHlqNnRTY1pxbUVjMVRtTWlGZG1PVmc;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=1541;dataMax=62952$map_y;scale=lin;dataMin=-0.1743;dataMax=2.386$map_s;sma=50;smi=2$cd;bd=0$inds=i239_t002011,,,,;i44_t002011,,,,  ****    ****      ****   ****    ****   ***  ***





Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark