Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thing #7

Ok, Thing #7 had us explore the myriad tools that Google has to offer.  

I set up a daily Google Alert, to send me science news.  I figure this would be a great little blurb to read and/or discuss to get students engaged at the beginning of class, especially if there were an article relating to that day's lesson!

Also, I downloaded Google Earth.   I'd played with it a bit before, but didn't realize how much there was to it!  I was very impressed: latitude and longitude, elevation, date of image...  However, it proved to be a challenge for my ol' G4 PowerBook.  Not only does Google Earth require you to download the program, but if you want to go on any of the pre-made KML (Keyhole Markup Language) tours, such as Earthquakes in Real Time, Jimmy Buffett's Hawaii Tour, or Museums of the World, you need to download a separate plug-in!  Trying to maneuver around the globe- and waiting for the image to load for each subsequent move- was pretty frustrating.  Has anyone found this to be true as well?  Maybe it's my tiny, older laptop...

I just had another idea: using BOTH of these apps in class together!  For example, say that I get an alert about a certain volcano in Hawaii.  I share with the class, and ask what they know (prior knowledge or what they glean from the article) about volcanoes, and/or Hawaii (terrain, climate, native plants and animals, etc.).  Then I fire up the Google Earth, and we can go right to aforementioned volcano!  We could even find other volcanoes around the globe with which to compare and contrast!


  1. You have just discovered one of the biggest problems that teachers have with technology (well, beyond age, attitude and lack of know-how): the computers we are given are not powerful enough to carry out our grand schemes!
    Even though we have relatively new Dells in our classrooms, complete with docking stations, etc., for easy access and movement, I always feel like I am just one download or application away from complete system failure.

    I do love to hear you talk teacher, though!

  2. I love the tone of your post. Perhaps there is enough creative outlet in teaching to keep you tapped. If not there is the perk of the lonnnnnng summer vacation for creative endeavors. I'm so glad that you are doing the library2play!

  3. Me too! Now if I can only find time to do the bird costume activity with my class (a la Happy Go Lucky) I will be set!

  4. Could also be your slow network at home?
    My network at home is not nearly as fast as the one at school - so I often get frustrated with my Web 2.0 projects when working at home.