How to Participate in Montana World Affairs Council GeoQuest 2020-2021: It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Watch this video.
2. Choose when you want to participate. It’s open all year and you can participate with multiple classes!
GeoQuest is designed for grades 4th- 8th, but all grades are welcome to participate!
The program consists of four events utilizing interactive video technology to connect students state-wide with international experts on regions of important international topics. GeoQuest will use geography as an entry point for a broad range of world affairs issues. Students will be immersed in geography, culture, world affairs as well as understand international impact on their own communities. Information to support these events will be housed on a virtual, interactive platform for easy management and collaboration. Educators will be provided with a curriculum support package which contains all of the necessary background on the geographic area for each session, including an engaging written brief on social, cultural and current events as key learning points. The final product will be a curated, co-created interactive map featuring geographical information about each country and about the students’ own communities.
This program proposes to develop globally competent students who can examine local, global and intercultural issues, understand and appreciate different perspectives, interact successfully and respectfully with others, and take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being. Schools play a crucial role in developing these skills. Today, education and technology go hand in hand, creating new opportunities for students to collaborate, network and spread ideas.
In filling this gap, we also support the twelve “21st Century Skills.” These twelve skills are intended to help students keep up with the lightning-pace of today’s world. Each skill is unique in how it helps students, but they are all essential in the Information Age. Increasing engagement through interactive technology with a focus on 21st Century Skills encourages students to become better learners, empowering self-initiated learning as they take an interest in what’s going on around them and actively seek to satisfy their own curiosities. By connecting to the world, students are prepared for success in school and in life as they explore and find new ways to relate to the world.
GeoQuest will focus on four countries around the world. These countries all have fascinating geography, history and culture and have connections with Montana. In alignment with Montana’s Department of Education Social Studies standards, GeoQuest would offer classrooms the opportunity to “explore” the world through interactive technology and on-line events featuring citizens of and experts on each of the countries while at the same time allow teachers to meet their state-prescribed learning objectives.
The program will include four online interactive events from September through November. Each session will be facilitated by our program staff. Classrooms will have already received an extensive information package on the country in question as well as instruction on the use of the technology. During the events participating classrooms will engage with expert speakers from a specific country. The format will be primarily Q&A so that students can ask questions that will help them connect their learning to a broader world view. In addition, students can share information about their community’s connection to the focus location thus expanding understanding for all students on the virtual connection. This will make the project authentic and connect learning to overarching themes in geography education.
For more information, please email Nikki Geiszler or contact her at 406-529-3565.
The 2020/2021 GeoQuest Countries of Focus:
- South Korea
My schedule is varied this year. Some of my students are in-person and others are remote—does this matter?
GeoQuest is designed for flexibility. You can start and stop this project at any point in the school year with as many students or groups of students as you need to. Since
the information students need to complete their project is online, you can use this with face-to-face instruction, remote
learners or a hybrid model. Instructionally, GeoQuest can be used as a whole class project, group work or an independent study project. Also, all of the resources for you AND your students are contained on the virtual platform.
What does it cost to participate?
Nothing! Montana World Affairs Council programs are FREE to Montana schools. Thank you to all of our generous sponsors that makes this possible.
What is the age range?
GeoQuest is designed for 4-8th grade. However, feel free to use and scaffold this program to fit your classroom needs.
What are the learning outcomes of GeoQuest and does it fit into the standards?
GeoQuest is designed to fit state and national standards. The idea is to help YOU hit multiple standards in multiple content areas! Students participating in GeoQuest will:
- Learn map reading and navigation skills using Google Earth
- Investigate other countries’ history, culture, and current events. After researching students are challenged to make connections to their Montana communities.
- Explore civic engagement while learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Can we meet country experts?
Yes! Virtual visits will be scheduled with experts from each of the four countries. Your class can join the live discussion even if you haven’t started GeoQuest and the conversations will be recorded for later use too.
Over 4,000 Montana children have participated in Council in the Classroom events.
1.5 times around the Earth or 31,000 miles: The distance students would have traveled from their schools to Missoula and back if they did not use interactive video technology from Council in the Classroom.
Council in the Classroom’s efforts have allowed us to reach more than 850 students and teachers in 44 schools and 24 counties in the 2019-2020 programming year.
Past Council in the Classroom Programs
“Understanding Korea: Past, Present, and Future”, Dr. James Person – Director of the Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy
“Language and Its Relation With Culture”, Dr. Reza Samar – Professor of Linguistics at the University of Montana
“The Humanitarian Crisis in Europe: A Two Part Series”, Dr. Udo Fluck – Leader in Multicultural & Diversity Education
“A Life Abroad: Living and Studying in a Foreign Country”, Representatives from China, Brazil, and the MT Blackfeet Reservation
Participation in a live Council in the Classroom event is a unique and practical supplement to any social studies curriculum. We understand that not all classes in the state can arrange their class times to view our live webinar. So that scheduling conflicts don’t inhibit students’ access to these events, each past CITC is available HERE broken down by topic and supplemented with additional reading and resources for interested teachers.