Dear Parents! Check out GeoGuessr and trust me, you’ll have no plans on stopping this game.
If you’re a travel buff, or love geography, or want a way to challenge your kids to get excited about both of those things, you need to try this fun, free game.
Just head over to the GeoGuessr website and they’ll drop you smack dab in the middle of somewhere. Use the arrows to move around the area (you can go pretty far, and I suggest moving around a lot) until you’re ready to make your guess. Then drop the pin on the small map as close to where you think you are (use the + symbol so you can be as exact as possible). Then, see what your score is! The closer you are, the more points you’ll get.
Now, what I love is that you (and your kids) really need to be detectives, because you can’t really tell based on landscape alone. But they can look at what side of the road people are driving on, what language signs are in, and all sorts of little details that could help them put together the entire picture.
If you choose challenge mode, you can join existing games, or pick specific areas (countries, famous places, the entire world), and test your knowledge against other people. Either way, trust me when I say this is a fantastic time suck and use of screen time minutes for your kids.
So why is Geography much more important for this generation?
1. Geography helps us understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life: How water cycles and ocean currents work are all explained with Geography. These are important systems to monitor and predict in order to help lessen the impact of disasters. At the same time, these systems can be monitored for important resources to tap in to.
2. To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world: Given how global our modern marketplace is, it’s important to have an understanding of where countries and cultures are located relative to one another.
3. To understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments: Geographical knowledge intersects with other subjects such as Biology and History and can help to gain a better understanding of the ‘big picture’ in these topics.
4. To understand the spatial organization of society and see order in what often appears to be random scattering of people and places: Why do we live in the cities and places that we do? Studying Geography gives us a good idea of why towns and cities were established in certain locations and why some have flourished more than others.
5. To be able to make sensible judgements about matters involving relationships between the physical environment and society: Similarly to the last point, why don’t we live in certain locations? An understanding of Geography lets us know which locations aren’t ideal for development as well as how best to develop or expand cities and towns.
6. To appreciate Earth as the homeland of humankind and provide insight for wise management decisions about how the planet’s resources should be used: Earth’s resources are finite and need to be managed in a responsible way. Geography informs us of how to sustainably utilise the resources that are available as well as help to improve the status of those that are in danger of running out.
7. To understand global interdependence and to become a better global citizen: Lastly, Geography can help us to be more conscious-minded about the world around us. Being a better global citizen means understanding others better and knowing the limitations of the Earth, both of which work toward making our planet a more liveable one.
The magic of geography is that it cuts across many disciplines. We don’t have to hire more geography teachers or add more geography classes. Geography can and should be integrated throughout lesson plans in other subjects, like history and science, or even art, so that learners can engage with real-world issues.
The challenge and opportunity of this time is how we can learn and grow together in this new normal. Understanding geography, the intersection of place and experience, allows us to explore thought-provoking solutions to this unprecedented moment in ways big and small.
Leaders, innovators and changemakers around the world are using geography and the study of place to bring solutions to life.
The intersection of geography and learning is more urgent than ever as today’s learners are experiencing change and disruption in real time. Let’s equip them with the geographic tools to see the whole picture, build an explorer’s mindset, and be relentless problem solvers.
“Young people are the world’s most untapped resource for hope.”