Meg’s Weblog

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Tech Task 5: Google Earth

with 9 comments

When I was in grade 11 I almost failed a map test of Canada.  Anyone who knows me well knows that Iam directionally challenged.   I get lost at least once a day, in Moose Jaw the town that I grew up in, and according to most people should know pretty well.  It is ridiculous to think that I will some day teach small children I know, but for years I have come to the understanding that I need to learn more about geography and the many interesting places of the world.  These are all reasons that I choose to check out “Google Earth” as my Google Educational Tool for this assignment.  I think that this is one tool that I will certainly need to utilize a lot in my classroom even after my spacial awareness improves. 

 When I decided to check the site out about a week ago I dove head first into it and felt myself quickly becoming frustrated because everything looked so simple, yet I couldn’t seem to get in and out of components of the site with great ease.  Naturally I stepped back and decided to look closer at all of the things that Google Earth had to offer and began my journey across the universe.  I learned that there are five easy, cool, amazing things that any one (maybe even a monkey) could do right off the bat when checking out this fabulous Google educational tool.  You can view an image of your very own house or school, you can go on a tour of the world (no big deal), you can get driving directions from one place to the next and follow the route (this option would be ideal for me when driving just about anywhere), you can check out other awesome locations and features created by Google earth users, and you can view a 3D image of any place !!!  Pretty amazing to start out with I thought, plus there is so much more. 

Google earth is totally free, however there is a newer version of the site that has heightened features that are really exciting.  There is sooooo much that I still feel like I need to explore where Google earth is concerned, and I am jacked up to do so.  I find it difficult to believe that I had never checked it out prior to this assignment.  I have a little sister who is ten years younger than me who said that she uses Google Earth nearly every single day in her class, and with good reason I suppose.  I think that it is a fabulous resource that would be good for any and every teacher out there weather they be directionally challenged like myself or not.

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Written by petermeg

September 23, 2008 at 4:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. Megan,

    I love the way you apply this to your own experience. The reflection of past learning and new possibilities is very powerful.

    Your next step in your blogging journey is to add links and images. But this is good, interesting, compelling reading….you are a blogger!

    Dean Shareski

    September 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

  2. Hi Megan,

    I really enjoyed reading through your blog entry about discovering the capabilities of Google Earth. It is such a powerful teaching and learning tool in so many ways.

    A few years ago, I used Google Earth on a regular basis with grades 2-5 students that I taught. We went on virtual ‘field trips’ to places that many of my students will likely never get to visit in person. My students were able to study all kinds of information about towns and cities around Canada, and around the rest of the world, without leaving our classroom.

    As more and more people have begun to realize the potential of this application, it has really grown in popularity. There are now so many cool features in Google Earth that didn’t exist a couple of years ago. If you’re looking for ideas about ways that you could use Google Earth to improve your sense of direction – 😉 – you may want to check out the Google Earth blog: http://www.gearthblog.com/

    Also, if ever you feel as if you’ve conquered your sense of direction here on earth, you may want to try out another really neat application called Stellarium – http://www.stellarium.org/ – to navigate your way around the universe…

    Regards,
    Andy

    Andy McKiel

    September 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm

  3. Great reflection! It’s interesting that you chose to find a tool that would help you in area where you felt the most need. Some people choose to go with their strengths first, so kudos to you for taking the risk!

    There are SOOO many things you can do with Google Earth– a simple search for “Google Earth” and “lesson plans” returns nearly 77,000 results! (Might I suggest http://gelessons.com/lessons/ for the future? Great ideas there!) This one Google tool helps a person not only learn the geography content of a lesson, but makes it all real, too. For example, it’s one thing to read about the scorched earth of the Sudan, and it’s another thing entirely to see it from an aerial view. Now it’s real.

    Good for you! I wish some of my staff had your enthusiasm!!

    Michelle Baldwin

    September 23, 2008 at 6:59 pm

  4. Hi Megan,

    This is a terrific reflection. I teach in Georgia in the USA. I do a lot of blogging with elementary students and I plan to show them your reflection next week. They are just beginning to make their own reflections and need some good models like yours. It will give them something to aspire to – reach high I tell them!

    I love Google Earth too and I am also directionally challenged, like you! We have lots of help now a days! Thank goodness!

    If you feel inclined feel free to comment to some of my students. The links are on my class blog at http://itc.blogs.com/rv

    Best to you…..

    Anne Davis

    September 23, 2008 at 7:02 pm

  5. Google earth is a great resource. My 9 year old daughter was sick last week, so we went on a virtual field trip to Paris! We “flew” from our house in Ohio, USA to Paris, France so she could really get a sense of where it was (she’s studying longitude and latitude in school now, so this fix in nicely). Then we looked at an aerial view of the city and swooped down to see some specific landmarks she’d heard about. Finally, we followed it all up using google images and wikipedia for more info. I love using the internet to help her learn about things she is interested in at the moment! And I love telling her when I don’t know the answers (although I’ve been to Paris several times), so let’s find the answers together!

    Debbie

    September 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

  6. Megan – I think you hit on the basic uses of Google Earth. It’s a great tool for all kinds of geography lessons and lets students “visit” places they never would in real life. We have also used it to make school documentaries, upload them to YouTube, add in the location so that when you fly to our school in Google Earth, if you have the YouTube layer turned on, you can watch the video directly on the school. I am with you in that I know there is a lot that I haven’t used yet!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Josh
    Omaha, NE

    Josh

    September 23, 2008 at 7:29 pm

  7. Megan,

    I found out about your blog from Mr. Shareski and I’m jazzed that I stopped by! Your writing style hooked me and kept me interested from beginning to end. I even laughed out loud at your “even a monkey” comment—-because it fit so nicely with your jokes about your own struggles with geography.

    Very cool stuff, indeed.

    I teach 6th graders—and we use Google Earth every day in class, too. I’d be comfortable sharing your post with them as an introduction because it makes Google Earth sound super interesting.

    BTW: Have you layed the Panoramio pictures into Google Earth yet? That’s the best layer because you can see images from all over the world too—giving you a real sense of place.

    Anway…Keep writing….You’re good!

    Mr. Ferriter
    Raleigh, North Carolina

    Bill Ferriter

    September 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

  8. I never thought that you could use google earth in the classroom! That’s a great idea. I totally understand where you are coming from with the getting lost a lot, and being able to provide an oppurtunity to help out students and be able to see exactly what something looks like or how far it is from place to place would be a great experience!

    Sara

    September 23, 2008 at 10:42 pm

  9. Hi Meg,
    Noone is more directionally challenged than I am. I have tried to overcome and think in the positive but – it is still true. I also love Google earth but haven’t been able to use it as much in classes yet as I would like. I always have big ideas but then time and technology interfere. I love that you are inspired by it and think it is awesome that you want to teach one day (at least that is what I think you meant by “I will some day teach small children….” Your sister is lucky too.

    Blogging is a great tool and I love this assignment. Did your teacher give you some ideas of tools to look at? Keep up the open exploration, it makes a pioneer out of you. Peace, Ms. O

    Lorraine Orenchuk

    September 24, 2008 at 1:07 am


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