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Posted on July 20 2020

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Dear Educators,

This past week, those of us here at Maps.com have been lucky enough to attend a conference showcasing the latest developments in mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It never ceases to amaze me what humans are capable of, and it is so exciting to watch the technology of the future come to life. Whether it’s a brand-new idea or a response to something broken, progress entails change. A lot of our success in life is based on our ability to adapt to and embrace change, and this is especially true for educators in our country right now. Supporting our students into the new normal of the upcoming school year is going to require that we greet change with a passionate embrace. This will mean looking towards what we are trying to achieve and remaining dynamic in our demeanor and actions as we all figure out how to get there together.

The Spread of Agriculture

Human history is full of situations where new technological advances drove massive changes in society. Just in our lifetimes, computers and the internet have profoundly changed the ways we teach and the ways we live. Small changes happen all the time and alter our lives little by little, but then there are huge shifts that change everything in a short period of time. The agricultural revolution was one of those massive changes. Shifting from relying on our environment to manipulating our environment transformed the ways we live in every way. This animated map shows the spread of agriculture throughout the world. Can you guess where llama farming started?

EXPLORE THE MAP
Changes to Trastevere in Rome, Italy

How do we achieve progress while respecting culture and history? This is a highly polarizing question for humanity and requires us to analyze our values in each situation. What impact will change have on our quality of life? Does it require us to chose ease over richness? It is a delicate balance, and there is never certainty at the outset. This National Geographic video is a great way to engage your students in that conversation. How have the lives of residents in Trastevere been impacted by the changes in their town? Are they positive or negative? For whom? Where can you see this universal human dilemma play out in your community?

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
Geography News Network

When this nation was founded, we dedicated ourselves to democracy. Throughout the years, this effort has met its fair share of challenges. Central to this quest is the right of a vote to every citizen. In order to achieve that aim in our current circumstances, we are going to need to change our process of voting. There is a lot of fear around this change, and the consequences of how we act now could change the political process for years to come.

READ MORE HERE
Why We Do What We Do

Adapting to the changes the 2020-21 school year will bring is likely going to be a challenge. I find human behavior theory truly fascinating, but admittedly there are times when practical tips are superior to scholarly ideas. This article gives some really great insight into what you can do to cope with change, and no big surprise, the power exists within you.

LEARN MORE
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