Google Earth, how much time can we waste playing with this tool. I discovered this tool early last year (2008)and downloaded it to my home computer straight away. I was wrapped to discover, when I purchased my Laptop, that it was automatically installed.
I have used this numerous times in my lessons and at home with my own children. (It comes in really handy when your husband travels everywhere for work. We have been able to keep track of his travels by zooming all around the country and even overseas just by typing in a destination and clicking a button.)
My most recent usage of Google Earth in the classroom was when my Year 2 class went on an "Our Town" excursion. In the week before the trip we talked about maps and showed them an aerial shot of the school. After the trip I down loaded all of the photos from the big day and created a PowerPoint to display them. While showing the photos we paused and used Google Earth to find where in our town we were when the photos were taken. Using visual images to prompt their memory and Google Earth to show the aspects of mapping and distance between venues/sites visited. Students were then instructed to write a recount of the excursion, using chronological order of events.
Links to the essential Learnings (QSA,2007)
SOSE Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3
Place and Space
Maps have sympbols to represent places and identifying the relative positions of features including landmarkds and locations.
English Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3
Literary and Non-literary texts
Non-literary texts inform, report on events and issues, explain, explore ideas, express opinions, conduct tracnsactions and negotiate relationships, goods and services, and give directions.
Google Earth is able to supply a 'birds eye' view, which helps illustrate the mapping aspects, and then by clicking on the camera icons you can come down to street level and get, in most cases, a 360 degree view of the site. This tool provides an engaging hook for the introduction to a lesson, and would be an interctive resource for an inquiry based learning experience. Fitting well with Kearsley and Shniederman's (2009) Engagement Theory where students use technology for meaningful learning that involoves active cognitive processes.
Kearsley, G. and Shniederman, B, (2009) Engagement Theory: A framwork for technology-based teaching and learning, http://home.sprynet.com%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), (2007), English Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3, Brisbane, Qld, Queensland Government.
Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), (2007), SOSE Essential Learnings by the end of Year 3, Brisbane, Qld, Queensland Government.