Thursday, November 14, 2013

Education : Stop Natural disasters ! Resources

Philippines flag
photo: Aaron Favila | AFP

"Up to 7,000 schools could have been damaged by super storm Haiyan in the Philippines warns Save the Children as the aid agency battles to reach the hardest hit areas like the city of Tacloban."

"Our aid teams in Bohol and Manila will tomorrow fly to Cebu and then travel by road and ferry to reach Tacloban. When they arrive they will work with our team already on the ground there to meet the basic needs of children such as giving them food and water," 

Anna LindenforsSave the Children's Country Director in the Philippines

Philippines typhoon | school destroyed
photo: unknow

Of course the immediate focus must be on saving lives, but thousands of schools are out of action or badly affected by the typhoon. 

In the worst hit areas this will have a terrible impact on children's education and it will be important to help children back to school as quickly as possible,

So, the Ministry of Education and Training of Philippines has asked schools in coastal provinces and cities from Quang Ninh to Ninh Binh, Red River delta provinces and northern provinces to create conditions to help students quickly get back to school after the typhoon.

The Hanoi city Department of Education and Training also issued a document asking schools in the city to carry out teaching and learning activities as usual from November 12, 2013.

Children in the Philippines


Schools across the world are considering to introduce in school lessons the Philippines  typhoon and its consequences.

It is impossible not to talk about such a tragic natural disaster with our students.

I know, it is a delicate subject, there are shocking images - videos and photos - running on the internet about the victims. 

But young people make questions, want to be informed, understand, and discuss in the classroom what it is going on around the world and why natural catastrophes such as Haiti earthquaker (2010), Katrina hurricane in USA (2005) and now Haiyan typhoon in Philippines. 

They have a conscious idea about it. They are the "internet generation" they are "wired" all day.

And we have a new environmentalist generation among our students. They involved in campaigns, they fight bad behaviors against Earth planet.

There are so many stories and so many lessons that can be taught about climate change and natural disasters!

I linked a few digital resources on this post to support the theme in your lessons.


Different digital resources are available. As educators, we can adapt and introduce them in school curricula to assist students as they seek learning opportunities around emotion-charged dates.

Of course every teacher must review the resources before introducing them, and evaluate one by one in school context.

Curricula: Geography; Sciences; Civics; History.


There are thousands of photos online (newspapers, televisions). These are just some I selected. It's up to every teacher make a research of the best photos adapted to the curriculum and level they teach.

You can also ask your students to search for their personal sights about Haiyan typhoon. 

A digital composite of Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, made using images captured geostationary satellites of the Japan Meteorological Agency

The image shows the enormous Typhoon Haiyan taken by Astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the Internatioal Space Station


  • National Geographic | Education
Natural disasters contains a selection of content from NG Education about natural disasters. 

Teachers can use and find more.


Videos are important digital resources. Students appreciate to watch videos. Please prepare previous pedagogical scripts that you must pass out your students to introduce the the discussion. Videos are an ideal, and natural medium for learning. 

Serious game:

Serious Game (SG) approach encourages students to explore and develop their own experience, 'live' inside, following their own path and personalizing the experience.

The two Serious Game below might motivate students' awareness to the problems of the Environment, solve some problems, and prepare them to be active citizens.

Inside the Haiti Earthquaker (SG)
  • Inside the Haiti Eartquaker | Earthquaker
What decisions would you make as an earthquake survivor, aid worker, or journalist in Haiti after the earthquake?

Inside the Haiti Earthquake is a first-person simulation based on documentary footage from Haiti and real-life decision scenarios. Try it now, click the graphic below.

Level: Secondary Education; Vocational Education (up-to 17)

Note: some images are real but brutal.

Fate of the World (SG)
  • Fate the World | Climate Change

Fate of the World is a PC strategy game that simulates the real social and environmental impact of global climate change over the next 200 years. The science, the politics, the destruction — it’s all real, and it’s scary.

Fate of the World that I shared on my blog in 2010  is the sequel to the popular BBC Climate Challenge played by around 1 million people all over the world. 

Levels: Elementary Education; Secondary Education

Games online:
  • Stop DisastersA disaster simulation game from the UN/ISDR
Stop Disasters is a game online the role in this game is to plan and construct a safer environment for the population. 

Students must assess the disaster risk and try to limit the damage when natural disasters strike.

ISDR stands for International Strategy for Disaster Reduction The Strategy brings many organisations, universities, institutions together for a common objective: reducing the number of dead and injured by disasters triggered by natural hazards.

One last word to the Philippines people and most of all to all the Philippines children. My deepest thoughts are with you. I have no words. Please, have hope!

And to the Philippines teachers, have the courage to restart school time with joy, supporting young children. Schools can be the best place to forget the reality and drama outside.

We can't do great things in this life . 
We can only do small things with great love. 

Mother Theresa

Really hope to help educators to enrich their lessons and support their students to understand the natural disasters using some of these digital resources. And, teach students to be supportive from an early age to other children.

The previous post, World Science Day for Peace and Development, has also some interesting educational digital resources that can complete this one.

"With today's technology every corner of the world is linked together. The  new generations are globalized."


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