Course Overview

World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present is a self-paced course for Virginia teachers taught by Dr. Don Zeigler, professor of geography at Old Dominion University. The course can be taken to earn recertification points or it may be taken for graduate credit. The course is taught online over the Internet.

The Spring 2015 course will run April 13 through May 22.

World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present is open to all Virginia teachers free as a recertification course. The course supports the Virginia Standards of Learning for teaching World History and Geography 1500 AD to the Present. The purpose of the course is to help teachers incorporate more geography into the World History and Geography curriculum. It has not been designed to serve the needs of elementary teachers; a solid background in world history is necessary for doing well in the course.

Teachers may earn 45 recommended recertification points for Virginia teacher certificate renewal by taking World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present. Please consult the individual responsible for awarding recertification points in your school division to determine if the recommended points will be accepted. (If that person has questions about the course, he or she may call Mollie Rosenburg at (800) 609-2680 or send an e-mail to info@pwnet.org.)

Teachers may also take the course for three graduate credits through Old Dominion University. (Participant is responsible for the tuition cost.). For more information about earning credit, please review the instructions on the Graduate Credit Information Page of this website or contact the professor, Dr. Don Zeigler, at dzeigler@odu.edu or at (757) 368-4113. The course is the same, except teachers enrolled for credit will additionally be required to complete a lesson or unit plan and complete some written work.

Syllabus for the Graduate Course

Please consult the individual responsible for awarding recertification points in your school division to determine your individual requirements for recertification. Only the Graduate Credit option of this course qualifies as College Credit; you must consult with your school division to determine which option you should pursue if you are planning to count this course toward recertification.

All teachers taking World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present must register on this web site, and you will be sent an e-mail confirmation with your login name and password.

The core material for World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present is presented online at this web site. To access the material, you will log on using the user name and password you create when you register. A discussion board and quizzes will be available at this Web site as well.- http://geoconnects1500topresent.pwnet.org. You may work through the material and post messages on the discussion board at your convenience, but you must complete all work by
May 22, 2015 . There are five parts to the course, and each part will take approximately five hours to complete, including study time, and not including the discussion and quiz. Each week, the discussion board and quiz for a new part will be posted. The schedule for the class is as follows:

  • Week of April 13- Part I: Landscapes of the Modern World
  • Week of April 20- Part II: Old World, New World, One World
  • Week of April 27- Part III: Political Geography of the 20th Century
  • Week of May 4- Part IV: Trade, Technology, and the Quality of Life
  • Week of May 11- Part V: The Indian Sub-Continent
  • Week of May 18- Catch-up time
  • Friday, May 22- Class Ends

The five parts of World Geography Connects: 1500 AD to the Present are summarized as follows:

Part I: Landscapes of the Modern World

The cultural landscapes of the world - imperial, nationalistic, religious, scientific - often document the deeds of the past. As we sharpen our skills in analyzing those landscapes through the use of maps and pictures, we are able to see how history is influenced by the geographical context of important events since 1500 AD.

Part II: Old World, New World, One World

From the voyages of European exploration in the 16th century to the founding of the United Nations in the 20th, we have been challenged to reckon with the world as one. The tyranny of distance has diminished, and once isolated cultures have been brought into contact with the forces of globalization.

Part III: Political Geography of the Twentieth Century

The world political map in 1900 was shaped by imperialism. By 2000, colonies had virtually disappeared; newly independent states had taken their place; a "cold war" between two of the world's great powers had played itself out; and the legacy of genocide had made its mark on the map. To understand the 20th century we must understand the geography of power.

Part IV: Trade, Technology, and the Quality of Life

The expansion of trade and the rise of modern technology have led to continuous improvements in quality of life. As the 21st century dawned, however, the world was still divided between rich and poor. In this section, we begin with the Renaissance, continue with the scientific and industrial revolutions, and end by exploring global interdependence and economic development.

Part V: The Indian Sub-Continent

To understand geography, you must understand history. We study the past because it sheds light on the present-day countries of the Indian sub-continent, particularly India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Coverage includes the Mughul Empire, the encounter with Europe, the rise of Indian nationalism, and the region's religious landscapes.

Each part includes letters from Don, learning and practice activities, resource links, quizzes, and assignments. The quizzes, discussion board, and announcements about the class are available at this web site.


Requirements and Expectations for the Course:

You will be expected to read each section and complete the assigned activities all contianed at this web site http://geoconnects1500topresent.pwnet.org Part I opens Monday, April 13 and each Monday of the following four weeks, the next part of the course will be activated. The quiz for each part will be posted on Friday of the week the corresponding part opens. In addition, at this http://geoconnects1500topresent.pwnet.org, teachers will need to participate on the discussion board and take the quiz at the end of each of the five parts. Each part will take approximately six hours, not including the discussion forum and quizzes, so that the total time expected for completion is about 35 hours.

By participating in this course, you will learn about World History and Geography 1500 AD to the Present and find many ideas, resources, and links that will assist you in the classroom. It is hoped that you will take this knowledge and develop lesson plans that support the Standards of Learning for Virginia.

Important! System Requirements

You will want to use either Internet Explorer 6 or greater OR Netscape Navigator 6.2 or greater as your internet browser for this course. The course is not designed to work with AOL's browser. And because there are many videos throughout the course content, you will need broadband, high speed internet connection.

PC System
Minimum System Requirements

Macintosh Compatible System
Minimum System Requirements