I am doing option 2 where I make my own KML Google Earth file and Tour. The Google Earth Tour is centered around a book idea I had years back while surfing the waves of Vancouver Island in Canada. I can see how the variety of ways that Google Earth can be utilized in the classroom. I can also imagine the ways that the social sciences can be greatly enhanced by using Google Earth in the classroom. My language arts lesson feels a little like an interesting way to close the lesson on reading a novel rather than a necessary component of the actual skills of reading and writing, but I think the effort was worthwhile and the students would hopefully enjoy it.
Click here to load the KML layer of my Google Earth project.
Click here to load the Google Earth Tour for the novel Grayer Pastures. Make sure you expand the different areas to find the Tour with the camera icon. It is toward the bottom and is a .kmz file.
The first article on the ISTE site I read was titled: Technology Integration: Using Google Earth and Graph Club in the Classroom. The article stressed the ways that technology can help students engage in higher-order thinking. The article started by stressing how important it was that the teacher have a good grasp of the technology.
The exercise described in the article has the students finding places on Google Earth and recording the latitude and longitude on a graph. The article ended by designating the lesson a success with a few recommendations; among them were: that students work as pairs to help each other; to monitor students closely; and to conduct discussions for the students to work on their speaking skills.
The second article I read on the ISTE site was titled “Geocoaching Across the Curriculum.” This article covered lessons that involved students leaving the classroom and using GPS devices to discover caches that the teacher had planted.
The author covered all aspects of the what to expect and what to avoid in a typical geocoaching experience. He also went in depth about how to tie geocoaching in with different class subjects. The author described how geocoaching is a weather-dependent activity and emphasized the way the teacher can use Google Earth and Google Maps to substitute for a geocoaching experinece if the weather is inclimate. It was surprising to hear the different ways that geocoaching can be relevant to a variety of subjects, but the author makes a strong case and provides a few examples.