Geography goes on virtual tour

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Presentation held in Dublin, 2012

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Geography goes on virtual tour

  1. 1. EUROGEO ConferenceGeography and Global Understanding: Connecting the Sciences June 1st-3rd, 2012, Dublin, Ireland Primary geography goes on Virtual Tour Giovanni Donadelli giovanni.donadelli@gmail.comUniversity of Padua, Italy - University of Cologne, Germany and Italian Association of Geography Teachers
  2. 2. Thinking about the computers role in education does not mean thinking about computers, it means thinking about education (A.B. Ellis, The Use and Misuse of Computer in Education, 1974)
  3. 3. The use of digital globes and geo-browsers represents a true revolution among geography teaching practices at all levels of education. Google Earth is probably the better known and most diffused geographical software used in schoolsThe use of Google Earth keenly supports the “four E’s” of the learninglife cycle model (Cates et al. 2003, 155), allowing students to• engage in the lesson• explore the earth• explain what they identify• evaluate the implications of what they are learning.The very nature of Google Earth allows students to explore the earth ina dynamic and interactive manner, helping them understand thespatial context of their locale and engage in spatially-oriented learningin an entertaining and meaningful manner. (Patterson, 2007, 146)
  4. 4. IS Google Earth children-friendly? Can Google EarthDoes 9-11 years support a deepold children need geographicalany kind of learning?training course tolearn how to usethis software?Does Google Earth Can Googleuse improve Earth substitutepupils skills on our geographyusing computer? textbooks?
  5. 5. Primary geography goes on Virtual TourPeriod: March-April-May 2012Location: Geography Department, University of PaduaTarget: 260 children from ten 4th and 5th grade primary school classes (9-11 years old) of PaduaExperience: less than 30% used Google Earth beforeA (pilot) workshop aimed to:• Offer a different approach to study geography• Build a bridge between University and Primary Schools• Present Google Earth as a geographical tool (also for the teachers)• Let the children "play" (get confident) with GE• Train the students to use the software properly• Reflect together with the students and their teachers different possible uses of GE• Improve and certificate students Digital Literacy on Geographical Contents
  6. 6. At school Workshop structure In the computer lab In the department First Second Third step step step
  7. 7. The workshop started before its real start  Refresh some geography knowledge with the children (maps, environments, processes, etc..)  Read to the class the mandatory letter  Write and paint the individual cards  Decide the pairs who will work as a team during the workshop  Make the children draw a map of a chosen Italian Region on transparent paper  Ask the children to bring to the workshop any object they perceived linked to the region theyve chosenAt school First step
  8. 8. Welcome to the geography room Activities:  Introduction to the Geography Departments, geographical tools, methods and activities.  Observation (globes, journals, maps, books, models)  Questions and comments  The value of maps – Layers and informations  Lets build our map!In the department Second step
  9. 9. Activities:  Space Shuttle departure from the computer lab  Short introduction to Google Earth (zoom in/out, point of view, street view mode, etc)  Missions 1. Find a mountain peak near Aosta, create a placemark and personalize its icon and description. 2. Explore the Trasimeno Lake coasts and create a polygon overlaying the lake. Set the area with transparency. 3. Find out in which province and region is Occhiobello. Find out the name of the river which pass by and create a line following the river till the sea. 4. Look for different environments or interesting point, create placemarks, write down their coordinates and describe them briefly using theIn the computer lab Third layers: photo, web cams, wikipedia, street view. 5. Create a virtual tour on the region step6. *Go and find your school or your house
  10. 10. The certificate
  11. 11. Conclusions All participants appreciated the workshop! Google Earth isnt difficult for children BUT its a complex software The software isnt really children-friendly GE helped to improve children skills on mouse controlGE doesnt allow a better geographical understanding by itself. It has to be plan how and why use it.GE provide a different point of view but is premature to think that it can substitute the textbook The workshop is an effective experience which helped to promote Digital Literacy and understanding on Geographical Contents
  12. 12. EUROGEO Conference Geography and Global Understanding: Connecting the Sciences June 1st-3rd, 2012, Dublin, IrelandThank you for your attention Giovanni Donadelli – giovanni.donadelli@gmail.com University of Padua, Italy - University of Cologne, Germany and Italian Association of Geography Teachers

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