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Monday, May 14, 2012

Decide to Make a Difference; Choose Geo-Literacy

Those are not my words, they are the closing words from the two most recent National Geographic Education videos. The first is titled What is Geo-Literacy? and the second is titled Why is Geo-literacy Important?

The first video recaps the three "I"s that define geo-literacy: interactions (systems), interconnections (how one place connects to another, reasoning) and implications (selecting a good choices for the future). The second video suggests why we need to enhance funding and teaching of geo-literacy. If we do not, the video suggests, we are likely to make poor decisions about our personal and global future (and perhaps already have).

The videos present a lot of information, not the least of which is that geography, while selected as a core academic subject by Congress in 2001, has received no funding whatsoever. All of the other core academic subjects have been funded to some degree. (See: 1:57 of Why? video)

I want to challenge National Geographic to do more.
  • I want it to answer the logical follow up to the closing words of the videos cited in my title: What would you like viewers to do? What action(s) should they take? 
  • These videos seem to be aimed at educators, parents and perhaps Congress. I want National Geographic to suggest with whom it wants viewers to share the videos.
  • I encourage National Geographic to add some context to the videos (on Vimeo as of May 1 and YouTube as of May 10). Why were these made? At whom are they addressed? Where are further resources? Neither the Vimeo or YouTube versions have descriptive information as this post goes to press. Such information is very valuable to the press, among others!
The videos are a great start in getting the word out about geo-literacy. I look forward to seeing National Geographic's vision for action on the issue.