Remote Learning & Geography—A Perfect Match

Remote learning social studies geography

Many teachers have been thrust into the world of remote learning, temporarily forced to teach their students online instead of in a classroom. Educators are adjusting fast and finding more and more effective ways to teach online.

Different parts of the common grade-school curriculum present different challenges. STEM subjects that require labs, for example, can present significant barriers. While all subject areas can be difficult to teach online, remote learning and social studies, specifically, remote learning and geography are rich areas to pursue, as those subjects present good opportunities to educate and engage your students in an online setting.

In this article, we'll take a brief look at remote learning best practices and wrap up with a look at how effectively you can cover geography topics online.

Remote Learning Basics

Teachers that are new to conducting online classes often look to experienced colleagues for guidance. Here are some commonly shared remote learning best practices:

  • Establish your presence and control the online session. Initially, welcome each student by name, introduce yourself, describe the course, and explain what you hope students will learn. Clarify the rules of the class.
  • Be available and provide ongoing feedback. Encourage students to contact you if they need immediate assistance. Providing constructive feedback on a regular basis establishes a personal connection and can help you discover students' strengths and weaknesses.
  • Use online resources. Teachers should make full use of videos, learning games, and reliable online sources while stressing the importance of using valid and trustworthy resource only.
  • Don't just lecture. Create a more fun environment than you would in a classroom. Parts of each class can be playful, with surprises like a funny video clip or quick game.
  • Make your assignments clear. Proactively help students access assignment notes and resources online. Be sure students know what is expected of them and explain what counts toward the student’s grade.

That's a high-level summary of some of the basic remote learning tips you can find online. You should explore available resources, for example, The New York Times Teaching Project gathered input from twenty-eight middle and high school teachers about the best approach to remote instruction. Check out their 80 Tips for Remote Learning from Seasoned Educators.

Next, we'll look at a common grade school curriculum topic that especially lends itself to remote learning—geography!

Remote Learning Geography Resources

There are many online resources for teaching social studies, especially geography topics. Here's a small sample:

  • Seterra, the publisher of this blog post, is the ultimate map quiz site. You can use Seterra from any web browser to explore the world and learn about its countries, capitals, cities, rivers, lakes, and more. Supporting dozens of languages and offering leaderboards and custom quizzes, Seterra is a great tool for homeschooling geography.
  • Geography Now is an educational YouTube channel that's covering every country in the world in alphabetical order.
  • Another YouTube channel for homeschooling geography topics is WonderWhy. It makes the information more interesting by adding in fascinating bits of current and historical information.
  • Geoguessr is a fun location discovery game that places you somewhere in the world, with the only clue about your location being a Google Maps Street View. You have to figure out where you are, and then drop a pin to mark your guess.
  • TheTrueSizeOf is an amazing website that lets you drag and drop countries around the map to compare their relative size.
  • There are many great geography videos on YouTube. Countries of the World is a video that helps students memorize the countries' names, musically covering them in alphabetical order.

    Tour the States is an entertaining music video that includes a remarkable demonstration of free-hand map drawing.

Most parts of a standard grade school curriculum can be handled online, but social studies, and geography, in particular, are areas of study in which remote learning can be extremely effective.

If you're faced with remote instruction challenges as we eagerly await the time when schools can return to normal operation, it's good to know there are countless online resources to help you maximize remote learning for your student.

Not all subjects will be easy to teach online. Remote learning and social studies mesh well; remote learning and geography are an ideal match.

We hope this brief look at remote learning best practices and online geography resource has been helpful and that you are able to enrich the lives of your students through engaging online education.

social studies