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Google Earth Lessons Blog » Overwhelming…

Google Earth Lessons Blog

An Educational Resource for Teachers

Overwhelming…

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 5:04 am on Thursday, April 6, 2006

With each passing day I am learning more and more about Google Earth and its capabilities. I am also finding more and more resources, getting more ideas and the to-do list for the site is becoming overwhelming. To give you an idea of upcoming (as time permits) projects associated with the site, here are some things on the drawing board…

*More Mini-Lessons to act as ’starters’ for lessons. I hope to create an archive with non-site branded web pages for you to use to get the kids thinking about the amazing world we live in, the forces that shape it, how it has changed over time and how humans have altered it. If there are any places you would like covered for the end of the school year, just drop me a line! Otherwise, we will want to start thinking about next year.

*A Google Earth ‘Nifty Tricks’ section showing how you can use Google Earth Placemarks with embedded live webcams, use placemarks to launch other curriculum related material from powerpoints to videos, how to go the other way, using PowerPoint or Word documents to launch Google Earth and a concept that for now I will call ‘cascading placemarks’.

*Create a section of the site to address the differing methodologies and strategies that can be used in the many situations teachers find themselves in around the world. At the school where I teach, every classroom has at least two brand new Gateway computers (that number will go up to four next year when we move into our permanent building, long story, don’t ask :-), yet for the most part the computers sit idle and I know that our school is not unique in this regard. Teachers struggle to meet the mountain of expectations placed on them and using technology gets shunted off to the side because the strategies and methodologies for inclusion and utilization of technology haven’t been internalized by the average teacher. I hope to be able to provide some simple methods and ideas that will help them get the most out of the tools available to them.

*Create more and more lessons that push the envelope of constricted curriculum. Mixing Math with Language Arts, Social Studies with Science, etc. It has been two weeks that I have been trying to get the time to finish the ‘Where We Are From’ (Math/Geography/Social Science) lesson finished up. The lesson is there, it is recording the videos that has been the problem as the last version was over 100M!!

*Work on the neat stuff, like the Java random coordinates script so that it creates placemarks and is a lot less likely to land in the middle of the ocean :-) Another project is an on-line system where students working at individual workstations can upload the placemark files they create using the lessons to a central, password protected, account driven section of the site, then the teacher can download them all as a batch rather than having to fuss with floppy disks, USB drives, network folders, etc. Ideally the system will write the XML that encapsulates all the student files into a single KMZ folder for the teacher.

*Create a series of tutorials for the ‘How-to’ section but have them in three formats, PDF with screenshots, Flash Video and HTML. In the meantime, check out Mr. DSouza’s lessons at teachinghacks.com. Since he did that, it frees me up on this one a little bit :-)

Anyway, there are lots of other things in the works here at GELessons.com! Now if only the school year would get over with so I could have some time to work on them. It can be overwhelming…

David

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