As soon as I began reading about Capzles I knew I was going to choose this as one of my mini-projects. It is a very Interesting technology and it is easy to use once you decide on a theme for the project and a strategy for capturing the required images. This could prove to be a powerful tool as the students are drawn to the images.
After completing the Capzles mini-project I spent some time exploring the Google Earth projects. I have used Google Earth before in my classroom but not to the extent covered in this lesson. The literature trips on Google Earth were very interesting and I believe they would be effective in the class. When exploring the literature trips, you discover Google allows you to select the content of the file you intend to view. This is a nice feature but took some time to understand the layers and associated content. Knowing the developer cannot preselect layers and content, you tend to spend a little time exploring the effects to see the visual impact. I found significant differences in the 2D and 3D views. Even though I did not develop a lit trip as one of my mini-projects, I found it to be quite interesting.
I spent some time reviewing Google Fusion Tables and you can see immediately the value this technology would have for visual learners as it can illustrate data for interpretation and comparison. I found this tool to be very interesting, but not one of my top choices for my 3rd grade class from all that were reviewed.
I found the Google Trek with Google maps technology fascinating with huge potential for students of almost any age. I think it lends itself to a project for the students in a variety of subjects. The historic journey presentation and Mr. H’s examples were useful in understanding the technology.
After investigating the Google Earth projects, I decided to develop a real world math/science lesson. In this project we provide the students the KMZ file linking to the measurement project. The link will pull up the King George Elementary School. Seeing their school should spark their interest in the project. By clicking on the KGES pin they will see the directions for this measurement project. They use the Google Earth measuring tool to measure from the start pin to the end pin recording their answers in feet, yards, and meters. We will then discuss their results. We could expand on this project with an estimation of the distance if time allows. First they could estimate the distance followed by having them walk it off after measuring their stride. By requiring the students to engage in critical thinking skills, this demonstrates real world application. They will multiply the number of paces by the length of their stride to determine the distance. I understand the pins are intended for location but the pins appeared to be more effective in communicating the starting and stopping of the measurement than did the polygon. I hope to have an opportunity to try this lesson with my class next week.