Google tools. Good.
Google map tools. Awesome.
The move by Google to create a web-based version of Google Earth a few years ago made sense. They needed something that would work on mobile devices and Chromebooks. But as a huge lover of the Desktop Pro version of GE, the problem for me was that the web-based version lacked so many of Pro’s bells and whistles.
I loved the ability to create tours and Google LitTrips, to use Historical Imagery, to combine different layers of data tell amazing stories. Sure. There was Tour Builder and My Maps but my heart still belonged to Google Earth.
But apparently Google listened in on enough of my conversations to do something about my need for tour creation tools in the web-based version of GE. A few weeks ago, they finally added the ability to generate tours with some pretty sweet features.
(If you’re semi-new to the Google Earth world, there are multiple versions. There’s the original Pro version that you install directly onto your laptop or desktop, there’s the more recent web-based version that runs through the Chrome browser – including on Chromebooks, and there are mobile app versions that run on tablets and phones. We’re talking about the web-based Chrome version here. While you can view tours created on the Pro and web versions on mobile versions of GE, you’re still not able to create tours on the mobile versions. Clear as mud?)
These new features help you and students Read more
It comes but once a year. The National Social Studies Supervisors Association and National Council for the Social Studies combined conference. For a history nerd, it’s the winter holiday break, the Final Four, and fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies all rolled into one event.
For three days, it’s about conversations that focus on social studies, tools, resources, evidence, and best practices. So what did I learn?
We all know how much I love the Googles. So today I’m gonna focus a bit on Google sessions and using Google to create social studies centric activities. Brooke from FriED is walking us through some strategies organized around the Amazing Race.
Brooke started by sharing her vision of what she called Challenge Based Learning using Google G Suite tools. I agree – our job is not to give kids the answers. Our job is to give our kids problems to solve. She used a combination of different G Suite tools to lead us on a Digital Breakout / Scavenger Hunt / Google Tools Tutorials to highlight what this can look like in the classroom.
Get access to what we did during the session. And then head over to view a 20 minute explainer video that outlines the step by step instructions for making your own classroom specific Amazing race.
We all know that I spent a significant amount of my formative years digging through old National Geographic maps. You know the ones I’m talking about. They got slipped into the middle of the magazine and unfolded into poster size after you discovered them. I still have an old shoebox full of them. Cause they’re just so cool.
So it shouldn’t surprise any of you that an online article about maps, especially one from National Geographic, is going to catch my attention. But before we head over to take a look, a quick geography mental map quiz.
First step, create a mental map of the world. (If you’ve got a few extra minutes and some paper and pencil, feel free to draw it out.)
Based on your mental (or actual) map of the world, answer a few simple questions:
- How much of South America is east of Miami, Florida?
- How much of Africa is north of the equator?
- Which city is further north – Paris, France or Montreal, Canada?
- Venice, Italy is located at the same latitude of what major American city?
- Which is bigger? The lower 48 United States or Brazil?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you that I am a huge Google Earth nerd. I love geography. I love maps. I love Google.
It’s a simple formula. A + B = C. Maps + Google = Google Earth nerd.
So when Google pushed out an online version of GE this week, all was right with the world. At least until I started digging into it a little bit. Don’t get me wrong. Any time I can play with an online Google tool, it’s a good day.
The new version does have a few cool features. But I’m just a little disappointed that Read more
I spent part of this morning spending time with Donnie Piercey. Donnie teaches grade school kids in Kentucky and is a Google genius. And he’s a social studies guy. And he uses Google mapping tools.
So when I ran across his session here at #metc16 titled Google Geo Tools for the Elementary Classroom, it was a sign. A great session with some great ideas. Get all of his goodies at this sweet Google Doc.
A few highlights: Read more
I got my first Google Cardboard just a few weeks ago. And if you got your Cardboard this spring or summer and have already been using it, seriously. No heads up on how cool this is? Cause it really is a lot of fun to play with.
Google Cardboard was released last year but iOS / iPhone apps for it have been slow in coming. So . . . being an Apple guy, I hadn’t jumped onboard yet. But I am full on Cardboard mancrushing right now. I’m sharing some Cardboard ideas at the Kansas state social studies conference in Topeka today and I figured I should share some of those resources with you.
Not exactly sure what Google Cardboard is? Read more