Since its founding in 1888 "for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge," the National Geographic Society has worked to educate audiences about our planet. National Geographic Education is responsible for creating and disseminating educational programs for schools, out-of-school settings, and the home. National Geographic Education's work targets two goals:
Geo-Literacy: Geo-literacy is an essential skill for decision-making in 21st century personal, professional, and civic life. It is the ability to make decisions based on an understanding of how the world works and how people and places are connected. It requires an understanding of how Earth's interconnected human and environmental systems function, how to reason geographically, and how to make systematic decisions.
Educational Outreach: The National Geographic Society is home to rich and diverse resources that have enormous potential to support learning. As the educational outreach arm of National Geographic, National Geographic Education is committed to maximizing the impact of the Society's rich media, scientific, and exploration programs on the education audience.
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This tool has great potential when working with it towards social studies curriculum by allowing you to search a topic then narrow your search by looking at photograph, video, place, channels, magazine, and the news.
When teaching a lesson on Aztec history I was pleased to find over forty different videos and articles that provided rich insight into the history of the Aztec culture.
Within a classroom, especially for Science and History teachers, this tool can be invaluable. While students can learn from textbooks or from their teachers about a variety of subjects, they seem to enjoy more when they can see the concepts they have learned in a visual manner. National Geographic is an excellent resource for this kind of supplemental material.