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Thing #11 – Mapping & Geolocation Tools

January 4, 2014

Wow, is it January already? I am decidedly behind in my Cool Tools so far, but determined to catch up. Unfortunately, this topic is one that I can easily lose several hours without even realizing it (which the 11:30pm posting time can attest to).

I explored all the tools noted in this week’s topic, but the tool I tried out was Google Earth. I have wanted to do some kind of a lit trip since I heard about them in grad school, and I found the tutorials listed in the post to be very straightforward and helpful. It took longer than I thought, and I didn’t even take the time to do a complete storyboard. I think this step would make the difference between an okay lit trip (which is what I did tonight) and a good one. It would be even better if done in collaboration with a content area teacher, to make sure that the information they want their students to know is included. The other thing that took longer was that I’m working on a Mac for the first time in quite a while, and it was hard for me to figure out the different commands from the video. Also, I had trouble saving it to my desktop, but I was able to save it to my documents. And the final product did not include the pop-up description windows, even though I set that option in preferences. And lastly, my pictures are not showing up in the saved version, but are there in Google Earth (which I noticed happened in the tutorial video as well). I will troubleshoot later.

In the end, I think this is a passable demonstration for what lit trips can do. I could see these working for almost any content area, but it would definitely be a great tool for ELA and Social Studies. The trip I did was based on A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, a book that my 7th grade students are reading in ELA. I’m hoping that my ELA teacher will want to explore this tool a little more, and I’m also hoping that Google Earth is on my computer at work.

The other sites listed in this post were lots of fun to explore. One of my social studies teachers is very involved in the local history of my school community, and I’m wondering if we might be able to work on something together with these sites. Lots to think about.

You can view my lit trip here – A Long Walk to Water Lit Trip   Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and open the last note; the file is attached there.  And having to go through this just to share the lit trip is kind of a pain, it’s too bad it isn’t easier to share – or maybe it is, and I just haven’t played around with it enough.

Final assessment – great tool, lots of possibilities, but a little time-consuming to become fluent.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 13, 2014 10:54 pm

    i have the same challenges when I switch over to my Mac, I just don’t use it enough to remember how everything works. Add the challenges of Google Earth, etc and ……

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