The Learning Ecology potential of
Google Earth




A pedagogical framework for assessing the
ecological niche of online le...
Gerard Brady

MA ePedagogy Design – Visual Knowledge Building
Aalto University – Department of Art Education

May 2010
Primary Research
Question




   What is the Learning
Ecology potential of Google
          Earth?
Secondary Research Questions


What is the pedagogical framework underpinning
the learning ecology metaphor?

What is the ...
Relevance of research



     Multimedia and Connective
       properties of the web

   Precipitating a paradigm shift

L...
Relevance of research


    Geobrowsing of web info.

    Emergence of the geoweb

    Google Earth as a learning
        ...
Learning Ecology
Ecology




     Study of the
interactions between
 organisms and their
    environment.
Ecological perspectives
Ecological perspectives




       Systems science & Cybernetics

             Telematic culture

         Ecological Syst...
Other Ecology Metaphors




              Media Ecology

       Information/Knowledge Ecology
Learning Ecology Definition 1


Brown (2000)

”a collection of overlapping communities of interest,
   cross-pollinating w...
Learning Ecology Definition 2



Siemens (2007)

”the space or context in which networks function.”

• Learning as network...
Learning Ecology Principles

• Informal and decentralised

• Adaptable and self-organising

• Ubiquitous and evolving

• S...
Pedagogical basis




1. Learning as situated (in Communities of
   Practice)

2. Learning as network formation (Connectiv...
Learning as situated
(in Communities of Practice)

• Community of practice - informal groups of shared
  interests, buildi...
Learning as network formation
(Connectivism)

• Knowledge is dynamic and evolving and structured
  within a interdependent...
Theoretical implications




 1. Toward a Pedagogical Ecology

 2. Learning ecology as unifying learning theory
Towards a pedagogical ecology




• Multi-dimensional pedagogical perspective

• Based on learning settings and individual...
Learning ecology as a unifier of
learning theories


• Learning not bound by theoretical assumptions,
  but does not exclu...
Learning ecology and the web




• Technology as a conduit of learning in the network

• Multiple forms of intelligence

•...
Google Earth
Background


• Rapid development in technology

• Convergence and standardisation of geodata

• Availability of satellite ...
What is Google Earth



Goodchild (2008)

”Google Earth provides a distinct perspective of
  Earth, allowing users to view...
Key elements


• Client-side technology

• 3D perspective

• Transportabale and scalable data

• Interactive and engaging
...
Key opportunities


Geovisualization

• Organising and communicating spatial knowledge
• Issues of design, perspective and...
Education in Google Earth


Lund & Macklin (2007)

• Spatial literacy

• Visualization

• Engaging narrative

• Critical r...
State of Education



• Various educational resources in Google Earth

• Google Earth Outreach initiative – funding for
  ...
Crisis in Darfur, USHMM
Climate Change in Our World, Met Office UK
Glaciers and Climate Change, NSIDC
Voyages of Matthew Flinders,
Stephen Nicholson
Assessment framework & criteria



1. Accessibility - Openness, technical, socio-cultural

2. Adaptability - Discretionary...
Assessment of Google Earth

                                         openness
                                           4...
Conclusions



• Metaphor for wider shift with web as a platform

• Challenges existing theory and pedagogy

• Extends lea...
Conclusions



• Google Earth as a platform for visualization

• State of education limited, but opportunities exist

• Co...
Learning Ecology Potential Of Google Earth
Learning Ecology Potential Of Google Earth
Learning Ecology Potential Of Google Earth
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Learning Ecology Potential Of Google Earth

  1. 1. The Learning Ecology potential of Google Earth A pedagogical framework for assessing the ecological niche of online learning environments and tools.
  2. 2. Gerard Brady MA ePedagogy Design – Visual Knowledge Building Aalto University – Department of Art Education May 2010
  3. 3. Primary Research Question What is the Learning Ecology potential of Google Earth?
  4. 4. Secondary Research Questions What is the pedagogical framework underpinning the learning ecology metaphor? What is the educational potential of Google Earth? Could a learning ecology framework be used to evaluate educational tools and environments?
  5. 5. Relevance of research Multimedia and Connective properties of the web Precipitating a paradigm shift Lack of attention to learning ecology
  6. 6. Relevance of research Geobrowsing of web info. Emergence of the geoweb Google Earth as a learning environment/tool
  7. 7. Learning Ecology
  8. 8. Ecology Study of the interactions between organisms and their environment.
  9. 9. Ecological perspectives
  10. 10. Ecological perspectives Systems science & Cybernetics Telematic culture Ecological Systems Theory
  11. 11. Other Ecology Metaphors Media Ecology Information/Knowledge Ecology
  12. 12. Learning Ecology Definition 1 Brown (2000) ”a collection of overlapping communities of interest, cross-pollinating with each other; constantly evolving; and largely self-organising.” • Learning as situated in context
  13. 13. Learning Ecology Definition 2 Siemens (2007) ”the space or context in which networks function.” • Learning as network formation
  14. 14. Learning Ecology Principles • Informal and decentralised • Adaptable and self-organising • Ubiquitous and evolving • Social and collaborative • Unrestrictive and experimentative
  15. 15. Pedagogical basis 1. Learning as situated (in Communities of Practice) 2. Learning as network formation (Connectivism)
  16. 16. Learning as situated (in Communities of Practice) • Community of practice - informal groups of shared interests, building, collaborating and sharing • Learning occurs through application of knowledge in communities of practice • Diverse interacting and evolving communities fundamental to health of the learning ecology
  17. 17. Learning as network formation (Connectivism) • Knowledge is dynamic and evolving and structured within a interdependent network of individuals and communities • Learning occurs through formation of network in the ’space’ of the ecology • Supported by environment of tools, resources and technology (media)
  18. 18. Theoretical implications 1. Toward a Pedagogical Ecology 2. Learning ecology as unifying learning theory
  19. 19. Towards a pedagogical ecology • Multi-dimensional pedagogical perspective • Based on learning settings and individual preferences of learner • Learner adapts to context and content
  20. 20. Learning ecology as a unifier of learning theories • Learning not bound by theoretical assumptions, but does not exclude them • Learning theory often depends on learning context or setting • As the context or setting changes the underlying learning theory should also
  21. 21. Learning ecology and the web • Technology as a conduit of learning in the network • Multiple forms of intelligence • Multimedia promotes stronger perception of knowledge realtionships in the network
  22. 22. Google Earth
  23. 23. Background • Rapid development in technology • Convergence and standardisation of geodata • Availability of satellite and aerial imagery • Digital Earth Initiative – Al Gore • Keyhole Inc. – EarthBrowser 3D
  24. 24. What is Google Earth Goodchild (2008) ”Google Earth provides a distinct perspective of Earth, allowing users to view its surface in varying amounts of detail and display assorted aspects of any location.”
  25. 25. Key elements • Client-side technology • 3D perspective • Transportabale and scalable data • Interactive and engaging • Extendable – via API
  26. 26. Key opportunities Geovisualization • Organising and communicating spatial knowledge • Issues of design, perspective and reliability NeoGeography, Mash-up and VGI • Informal network volunteering geoinformation • Integration of Google Earth with other apps
  27. 27. Education in Google Earth Lund & Macklin (2007) • Spatial literacy • Visualization • Engaging narrative • Critical reflection
  28. 28. State of Education • Various educational resources in Google Earth • Google Earth Outreach initiative – funding for NGO’s and community • Visualization of data in research
  29. 29. Crisis in Darfur, USHMM
  30. 30. Climate Change in Our World, Met Office UK
  31. 31. Glaciers and Climate Change, NSIDC
  32. 32. Voyages of Matthew Flinders, Stephen Nicholson
  33. 33. Assessment framework & criteria 1. Accessibility - Openness, technical, socio-cultural 2. Adaptability - Discretionary, modular, scalable 3. Social - Connective, collaborative, appraisal 4. Personal - Decentralised, expressive, identifiable
  34. 34. Assessment of Google Earth openness 4 Accessibility identifiable technical 3 Personal expressive 2 socio-cultural 1 decentralised 0 discretionary appraisal modular Adaptability collaborative scalable Social connective
  35. 35. Conclusions • Metaphor for wider shift with web as a platform • Challenges existing theory and pedagogy • Extends learning to include evolving network of interdependent individuals, communities and environmental setting.
  36. 36. Conclusions • Google Earth as a platform for visualization • State of education limited, but opportunities exist • Compatible with learning ecology, but requires further development of personal and social functionality

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