Thing 16: Mapping and Geo-location Tools

Last summer, I attended a PD session of how to use Google Earth in the classroom. Since then, the tool has been in the back of my mind to use more with students. I completed a lesson last year, but it did not go well. Though there were other tools to explore this week, I wanted to learn more about Google Earth to increase my skills and knowledge with it.

I looked at some of the videos and tutorials to re-introduce myself to the tool. Google Earth is extremely user-friendly with the updated interface, and I had no problems remembering how to create a tour with the pins.

The site for Google Lit Trips was one feature of this week that has helped me think of ways use the tool with students and teachers. Students read about different cities or places in books, and what better way to see them visually than to virtually travel using Google Earth?

At my district, some students do not have much. They do not travel often, and they think a drive to Syracuse or Oswego is a huge trip. Google Earth is a way to expand students’ ideas and sense of location. These thoughts can provide different perspectives and new ideas about the global world.

Additionally, in Google Earth, I like how the teacher can add discussions or information about the place. Or, students can create their own tour and add information they think is important about a place.

Overall, here are some ways to collaborate with teachers and possible project ideas to use for Google Earth that I brainstormed:

  • Social Studies 6th Grade Teacher: Students learn about the ancient civilizations, and they could go on tours to see the well-known monuments
  • 21st Century Wonders of the World: Students could create a new Wonders of the World tour
  • Lit tours for Peter Pan, Esperanza Rising and more
  • College tours