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Hacking #iste2015: Helping students experience the world using Google tools

world with google

It’s Monday morning in Philadelphia. Not really sure if that means it’s Day One or Day Two of #ISTE2015. The opening keynote was yesterday afternoon but sessions don’t start until today. Not sure how count their days. And I got here Friday for a quick Saturday am presentation at the ISTE Affiliate pre-con event so my count is off anyway.

I was busy yesterday chatting with new friends like Shauna Pollock and old ones like Levi Valdois so I missed the keynote. Pretty sure they went ahead and started without me. I’m sure ISTE thinks the first day was yesterday but to me, this is D-Day. Everyone is here, checked in, ready to attend sessions, chat up poster presenters, and nerd it up in blogger cafe.

And like every conference I get the chance to attend, I’ll try and give a bit of the flavor of what I hear and who I talk with. Not a ton of social studies related stuff but I am finding some that look really good. I’ve got a coffee and bagel so ready to go. First up?

Bob Deneau opens the day with a session titled “Help Students Experience the World with Google Tools.” Yeah. Two of my favorite things in one place.

In today’s world, our kids need to have a strong understanding of other cultures, ideas, and values. Robert suggests using Google tools such as Maps Engine, Google Earth Tour Builder, Google Cultural Institute, Panoramio and Google Hangouts to help kids see the world more clearly. Start by heading to his preso here.

Bob starts slow by showing using Google Maps and Street View. Also highlighted the Explore Bar across the bottom. I really like when teachers use both the Street View and the photos taken by others. A true sense of time and place. (Bob didn’t mention the very cool Back to the Future like feature when you’re in Street View but be sure to check it out.) Also like his idea of creating Photospheres.

Bob moved on to using the My Maps feature in Google Maps. I love this feature and it’s a very powerful way for kids to create their own secondary sources by using geography, images, and video. Be sure to also check out Google Views and Google Map Treks. I need to explore – and so do you – the options for using Google Views as well as Google’s user created images at Panoramio. These would be great for writing prompts.

google cardboard

Bob demo-ed Google Cardboard using his phone. This is fairly limited at this point but it has some pretty cool possibilities. Specifically with their new Exhibitions tool. Will definitely have to play with this.

Bob shared how to record his maps and then post to YouTube. He posted a sample of what this can look here. I really like this idea. I see some very cool literacy integration possibilities with this – have kids research more background, kids have to write scripts for the narration, post those online for peer reviews, re-write, get feedback from others once final version is online. I’ve spent time helping teachers create maps and use Street View but haven’t really spent time using them as the foundation of a video.

Bob suggested the following apps to capture maps:

  • Camtasia Studio
  • Screencastify
  • Snagit
  • Smart Notebook Screen Recorder
  • ScreenCast-o-matic

Be aware that most of these record your screen but you’ll need to edit the captured video using QuickTime or YouTube.

He ended with the Google Cultural Institute. I’ve talked about this awesome resource before. Go check out all of those goodies. Be sure to check out the My Gallery option!

(Bonus tip? Join the Connected Classrooms Community on Google+.)

Yes. This is why I love the Googles. So much to use and so many ways to engage learners. Thanks Bob for a great start to #iste2015 Day One.





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