Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Using Google Earth in the classroom for learning and engagement is an exciting prospect for a future SOSE teacher. It is a spectacular resource for geography lessons which allows students to explore their world in 3D, on their own computer.
It’s particularly useful for visual learners and extremely user friendly.
Students can fly across the earth, pinpoint important historical sites, explore locations or cities of interest and visit places they may have only dreamed about. Different layers available offer enormous scope and links to other subjects such as economics, demographics, history, space, astronomy, maths and geology. It’s excellent for viewing the impact of natural disasters and the progress of human civilisation. It is only limited by your imagination.
The sunlight feature is fun, you can see sunsets around the world!
Google Earth has the potential to cater for all learners in the classroom and the teacher can adapt projects to suit different learning styles and levels.
Imagine using Google Earth to investigate a school trip prior to embarking upon it. My secondary Modern History class are travelling to Vietnam next year for 10 days. Students could begin researching the country using Google Earth.
1. Find Vietnam on the map to begin and plot its co ordinates and distance from the Sunshine Coast.
2. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and take a good look around, taking note of the landscape and architecture. They could also locate their hotel and take a look at it, its surrounds and where it is located in relation to sightseeing they will be doing.
3. Find the distance between cities and sights they will visit as well as use it to take a good look at the environment. I have found from speaking to the students, that their preconceived ideas of Vietnam are very different from the reality and that they are nervous about the unknown. A trip via Google Earth may help to allay their fears.
4. Use Google Earth to view and learn about major attractions they will be visiting.
This task sits well with Oliver’s learning design framework with a task that learners are required to do, resources to support the task and support mechanisms from the teacher.
Google Earth would also mesh well with podcasts and video clips to support the task and provide extended information.
Google Earth www.earth.google.com
Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for on-line teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.
http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm Viewed August 9, 2009