Living in the modern world, we are more and more dependent on technology for our trip navigation. Most of the time, our trusted GPS guides us down the correct path to our destination. However, it is not fail-proof. There are times where we find ourselves in a random neighborhood, instead of traveling on the highway we expected to find. This leads me to a very important lesson I hope all teachers will share with their students, especially those in Geography classes around the world!
We are traveling the entire west coast of America in a 40' motorhome. We also have our TOAD, a Honda CR-V we town behind the big "bus." Due to our massive size, we must be very careful as we travel from one location to our next destination. If the GPS decides to lead us into a tight situation, we may not be able to get out without great effort, and possible great cost.
We have already experienced this little lesson a few times. We've had to stop, unhook our tow car, and carefully back ourselves out of the sticky situation, all while holding up not-so-happy traffic.
Blaming our situations on the GPS is an easy out, but the lesson has become an easy one to learn, and more importantly, we have now learned how to avoid such situations in the future!
Traveling blind is no longer an option. We have gone back to using our basic geography skills to map out our path before ever leaving our site. With a general outline of the major routes we should be taking, we are more aware of the obstacles we will encounter. There is also a U.S. Highway Atlas behind my seat, and it has been pulled out en route for a number of reasons.
While our GPS is still a very valuable tool, we are very thankful for having the basic skills we need to navigate our travels. After all, we do want to be able to find our way home eventually!
Do your students know the Basics of Geography?