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40+ ideas on using Google Earth and Maps in the classroom

These are some teaching ideas to accompany the Digital Explorer presentations at the Playful Learning Zone at BETT this year. Come and see us to find out more.

First things first, if you don’t have Google Earth, download it for your own computer and then be sure to pester the IT office to download it for your school. See the Digital Explorer research if you need to make a case to senior management. To use Google Maps fully you will need to have a Google account, sign up if you haven’t already.

Virtual Atlas
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BETT Google Earth and Google Maps presentation

Here’s a copy of the presentation to accompany the talks at the Playful Learning Zone at this year’s BETT show.

This year, we talked about how to progress with using Google Earth and Google Maps in the classroom all the way from using them as virtual atlases to using them as a base for local area projects and recording school trips and projects.

For a range of teaching ideas across the curriculum see the post 40+ ideas on using Google Earth and Maps in the classroom.

Satellite phones, arrests and biofuel

andy pag biotruck

I saw this story develop this morning via twitter. Andy Pag is 13,500km into the inspiring Biotruck Expedition attempting to travel around the world emitting less than 2 tonnes of CO2, and discovering how other people are cutting their footprint. I enjoy seeing his updates on twitter, then this morning his arrest in the Indian city of Ajmer unravelled live on the internet.

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Google Earth Expedition Gallery #4 – Marrakech Land Use

This fourth entry in Digital Explorer’s Google Earth gallery is where it all started with a study of urban land use in Marrakech with pupils from Eastbury Comprehensive in 2006 on the Toubkal ’06 expedition.

rgs logo The use of Google Earth and remote blogging received an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

next generation learning logo

This work is also held up as a national case study by BECTA’s Next Generation Learning project.

ge link icon Download the Google Earth tour – Marrakech Land Use

You will need Google Earth to view the tour. If you don’t have Google Earth, you can download it for free:

download google earth

Contact Digital Explorer, if you would like to make a Google Earth tour for your expedition or fieldwork.

Google Earth Expedition Gallery #3 – Antarctic Education Videos

The third entry in Digital Explorer’s Google Earth gallery features educational videos made during the E-Base Goes Live Expedition. More educational resources about Antarctica can be found at 2041′s Education Site.

ge link icon Download the Google Earth tour – Antarctic Education Videos

You will need Google Earth to view the tour. If you don’t have Google Earth, you can download it for free:

download google earth

Contact Digital Explorer, if you would like to make a Google Earth tour for your expedition or fieldwork.

Google Earth Expedition Gallery #2 – E-Base Video Story

This is the second entry in a series of expedition based Google Earth tours from Digital Explorer. We will be publishing a new tour everyday for the next couple of weeks. The E-Base video story Google Earth tour allows you to follow the E-Base Goes Live Expedition day-by-day with geo-located videos, as the team work to put up wind turbines in Antarctica.

ge link icon Download the Google Earth tour – E-Base Video Story

You will need Google Earth to view the tour. If you don’t have Google Earth, you can download it for free:

download google earth

Contact Digital Explorer, if you would like to make a Google Earth tour for your expedition or fieldwork.

Google Earth Expedition Gallery #1 – Living in Antarctica

This is the first tour in the Google Earth Expedition Gallery from Digital Explorer. Follow the team from Digital Explorer, npower and 2041, as they find about life in Antarctica during their time on King George Island on the E-Base Goes Live Expedition in March 2009.

ge link icon Download the Google Earth tour – Living in Antarctica

You will need Google Earth to view the tour. If you don’t have Google Earth, you can download it for free:

download google earth

Contact Digital Explorer, if you would like to make a Google Earth tour for your expedition or fieldwork.

Geographical Magazine – Expedition top tips

Geographical Magazine is putting together a short feature in which experienced expeditioners offer tips to those planning their first expedition in the October issue, as a run-up to the annual Explore Conference at the Royal Geographical Society.

Mine are…

What is your top tip for those planning an expedition?

Integrate your communications and education plans from the outset. You have the ability to inspire a huge range of people to make a difference.

What item do you always take with you on an expedition?

Satellite communications kit. It’s a real joy to be able to share an expedition in real-time with an audience back home.

Get the October issue or come along to Explore to find out more.

Also see the January article on Digital Explorer.

Expeditions need to inspire as well as discover

There has been a lot in the press recently about the campaign for the reactivation of the Society’s multidisciplinary research projects to greatly advance geographical science and knowledge (for more information see the Beagle Campaign’s website). The campaign has come about because the Society is perceived to be overly focused on funding other people’s research and is not taking a lead in putting its own multi-disciplinary teams in the field to reveal much needed information about our ever changing world.

So how do these two approaches fit with the exploration philosophy held by Digital Explorer. We believe that exploration, expeditions, field projects – call it what you will – should have four main steps.

Explore and go out into the world to seek new information and knowledge that is critical to advance our understanding of the world and how best humankind can enjoy and conserve the planet and its diverse peoples, species and environments.

Discover through the proper application of research methods as well as incorporating the wealth of indigenous knowledge into our understanding. Exploration is not just about travel, but a journey or field-based project with real rigour.

Share your findings with others and more widely than a narrowly read tome, gathering dust somewhere. There are so many engaging and inspiring ways of doing this. A minimum target for any expedition should be to reach 1,000 people who you didn’t know before you left.

Engage others to act. Knowledge is all very well and good, but no amount of knowledge and research alone will encourage the wider public to change behaviours and attitudes, needed for sustainable future. Without engagement we will all be better informed, and yet still unmoved.

There are expeditions that do fulfil these criteria, operating outside the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society. Expeditions that fulfil not just a need for good field science, but also seek to stir emotions and inspire change. The Society is the only British institution in a position to coordinate truly inspiring scientific journeys and projects, that have at their core a desire to find out more about our planet, and to share these discoveries through powerful stories that speak to people on a emotional level.

If facts and figures could save the world, there wouldn’t be a need to have this conversation.

Interactive history of exploration

wander-lust-exploration-map.jpg
Ed Verillo kindly sent me a link to this site, a fun and interactive history of exploration.

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