Friday, January 31, 2014

A Really Global View

A brief message from your planet.

Hi. Good to be in touch. Listen, I'm not going into all the global warming business right now (although I do wish you'd pay a little more attention to it).  Today I have one very simple but very vital reminder for you.

There is no up and down in space.

Okay, so what does that mean?  Lots of things, but most important to what I'd like to think about today is that you're thinking of the way I look in only one way instead of many ways.

Don't get me wrong--I'm really flattered that you think of me so often, and create such beautiful images of me.  That Universal Studios logo at the beginning of their movies?

Fantastic. Love it. But you know it's kind of Western-hemisphere centric, right?  Yeah, we covered that a while back. But also--well, something you may not have thought of.

How shall I put this, because it may be pretty strange to hear.  Ummm.  There is no up and down in space.

So . . .   Well, that North Pole is at the top stuff?  Not really.  I mean not all the time.  And don't get me wrong, I love the NASA photo of Earth from space.

But.  It could have been the other way (I mean "upside down") and been just as accurate. 

Yeah, freaky.

Take a look at this beautiful map of a region I know you're very familiar with.  Muhammad Al-Idrisi created it in the 12th century.


Can't place it?  How about if we turn it "upside down."

Now you see it.  Well, both are equally accurate.  You see? 

Just promise to think about it.  And happy new year!

Linked to the "My Global Life" Link Up at

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NC Social Studies Conference

Don't forget that the NC Social Studies Conference is coming up fast. Make your plans now and we'll see you in Greensboro, February 20-21.

Lots of great sessions, and a wonderful way to network with some of the best teachers in the state.  I've been known to call it Vegas for social studies nerds. And I can't wait to get there!

I'll be offering this session:

The Middle East and the Common Core
Come learn how to find and use primary and secondary sources, including text, video, and maps, to deepen students’ understanding of the Middle East. Free resources and information about workshops, online teaching materials, and curriculum support.

Register here. And I'll see you there!