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Example Scenario

Page history last edited by teresa.foulger@... 11 years, 7 months ago

One Innovations Mini-Teach Scenario

By Teresa S. Foulger

(Excerpt from a journal article in process)

As an example, last semester one small group was assigned to the topic of Google Earth. Most students in the class were aware of this tool, and many of them had used it for personal reasons; but none of the students in the class had ever thought about how this tool could support classroom learning.

As this group explored the tool, they learned about the advanced features, some that were just then under development, and also the ability of the tool to capture information and resources from the general public (such as photographs posted and commentary). They began to see some obvious uses for PreK-12 within the topic of geography.

But then one member of the group stumbled upon a web site that displayed a lesson plan within Language Arts that was intriguing. The lesson used Google Earth to help students relate to the storyline of a literature study. The novel, “TITLE HERE,” was about a young boy whose adventures took him through several small towns in Tennessee. The lesson called for the students reading the book to travel with the boy—through the use of Google Earth images. (MORE DETAIL HERE AFTER I CAN GET ACCESS TO THE LESSON PLAN.) The group decided a compressed version of this 3-week lesson would be the perfect experience for their classmates to gain an overview of some of the Google Earth features and witness how it could be incorporated into future PreK-12 projects.

Their presentation was about 15 minutes long and went smoothly. Using the projection device, one student demonstrated to classmates how to open the Google Earth application on their lab computers. The other student in the group made herself available to help classmates who were struggling. Classmates were asked to follow along as advanced and new features of the tool were modeled by “traveling” to a variety cities across the Earth and then to students’ own home. Both presenters demonstrated with confidence and showed a great deal of fluency with the tool. Many classmates, even the ones who had used Google Earth before, ooh-ed and ahh-ed as they experienced features they did not know about.

Then during the last five minutes the second member took control of the presentation computer. She opened the class wiki where all the innovations were archived, and accessed the Google Earth page for her classmates to see the information they had collected for classmates’ future use. The Google Earth group from the prior semester initially created this particular page. Although the two students assigned to Google Earth this semester had inherited it, it was evident that it had been weeded and better organized, and that some new items had been added. The student clicked a link in the section of the wiki page titled Classroom Uses, to show classmates a language arts activity using Google Earth. The presenters asked their classmates to participate during the next experience--as if they were sixth graders who were reading a book together. The students used their own computers to visit the three cities in Tennessee where the main character of the book had lived. Students zoomed in on the buildings of these small towns, and proceeded to explore the real places discussed in the book.

After the group presentation the instructor conducted a debriefing with the class and reminded students that this experience was not meant to provide them with the skills to be proficient with Google Earth but to give them a broad understanding of the tool’s function, and that the wiki and the two student experts who presented could serve as their resources at the time when they would need more detailed information. The instructor pointed out the ease-of-access of this tool in local school districts and how Google Earth could provide young students, even those who seldom traveled outside their own neighborhoods, a first-hand view of any place in the world. Together the class brainstormed the specific benefits of using the tool with this particular book study. Students commented how much more meaningful reading this book would be for sixth graders by the addition of Google Earth, and how student motivation would be positively affected. 


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