WASHINGTON (April 14, 2011)—National Geographic Education today announces the beta phase of its newly redesigned website, NatGeoEd.org, inviting user feedback from all interested K-12 teachers, informal educators and families.
NatGeoEd.org delivers an expanded and updated library of the National Geographic Society’s popular education content, combining National Geographic’s iconic media and expert resources with materials specifically developed to align with national education standards. The site includes a wide range of free educational resources to bring geography, science and social studies to life for educators, learners and their families. The redesign was guided by extensive research conducted in collaboration with the Education Development Center and designed and developed with the expertise of Blenderbox, a New York Web design firm. Research on the design of the site will continue throughout the beta phase, and users have the opportunity to provide feedback through easy-to-use tools that are available on every page.
The site is designed to meet the specific needs of different audiences, including K-12 classroom teachers, educators in informal settings, families and students. Audience views cater to the needs of specific users — including teachers, families, students and kids — and an enhanced search tool allows users to find content tailored to their needs. Features include multimedia activities and a growing reference library — with a glossary, encyclopedia and downloadable media — to support student research and homework. Connections to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube support community interaction among educators and learners.
Many resources are designed to foster real-world learning — on topics ranging from citizen science to current events to careers — to help reinforce concepts in and out of the classroom. In addition, media and other educational materials are presented in quick, easy-to-view multimedia carousels that can be viewed in full-screen mode for easy use on projectors and interactive whiteboards. They also include preview and pop-out modes for easy planning. A new interactive map will introduce students to mapping and GIS concepts through thematic data layers and will enable users to create their own maps. Users can now customize the highly popular printable black-and-white outline maps with drawing and labeling tools.
“For more than 120 years, the National Geographic Society has been pursuing its mission of inspiring people to care about the planet,” said Danny Edelson, National Geographic’s vice president for Education. “Capitalizing on the Society’s unparalleled editorial resources, this new website reflects our commitment to provide engaging digital content to our education audiences. We are excited to be able to offer this cutting-edge platform for 21st-century learning and look forward to learning from our users during this beta phase.”
The development of the National Geographic Education website and its content has been supported in part by funding from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon. National Geographic is one of 11 national content partners in Verizon’s Thinkfinity.org, a comprehensive website that provides thousands of free educational resources for use in and out of the classroom. Each partner creates free, high-quality, standards-based educational resources in their disciplines. Thinkfinity.org also includes the Thinkfinity Community, www.thinkfinity.org/community, an online spot for teachers, administrators and parents to share ideas and discuss education, collaborate with colleagues or ask questions of education leaders.
About National Geographic Education
National Geographic Education is the educational outreach arm of the National Geographic Society. National Geographic Education brings the rich resources of the Society to its audience of educators and learners as part of its mission to prepare young people to care for the planet. National Geographic Education creates educational materials for young people and the adults who teach them, conducts educational programs for educators and advocates for improved geographic education. Under the auspices of the National Geographic Education Foundation, it has awarded more than $80 million in grants to support efforts to improve geography education in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit NatGeoEd.org.
About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.