Monday, October 01, 2007

A Google Earth Odyssey

Over on Learning and Laptops, Anne Smith describes a recent project with her freshmen using Google Earth.

During my first few years at AHS, Maura Moritz and I developed an assignment where we had our freshmen complete personal learning journeys on a big laminated map mimicking Odysseus’s own journey. Along the map, they had to carefully mark 10 places they had visited, what they did there, as well as what they learned from the experience.

. . . My students will be creating a Google Earth journey of their travels following the same criteria as before looking at where they went, what they did there, and most importantly, what they learned. Odysseus during his travels learned something about himself as well as other cultures along his journey home, and I hope they will do this as well. I am hoping that these will be true reflections of their learning. Also, I am anxious to see the impact that these presentations will have on one another. Will they find they have visited similar places? Will they see and reveal the lessons they have learned over their short life thus far?

With help from Mike Porter, our Assistant Director of Technology (who I can’t link to because he’s still not blogging), the students created their own journeys. I think it was a good first attempt, although I think we were all a little disappointed that they didn't include any pictures, audio or video in their journeys (but perhaps that's just me being enamored with the capabilities of Google Earth). You can download their kmz files from their class blog. Also read through the comments to see the students’ perspectives on the project.


  1. Ms. Smith's students did great despite some Google Earth goofiness--continual prompts to update their software version. Nevertheless, much like Odysseus, they used cunning and perseverance to get to their destination. Could Homer have ever imagined? As for my blog, please see: ;-)


  2. Mike - While that blog you referenced is nice for its intended purpose, it's not the same as having your own personal blog. You need a place where you can write about Macbeth, Internet Filters, and crazy computer coaches - perhaps all in the same post.