Literary Geography: Using Google Earth to investigate Svalbard, the setting for Northern Lights.

 Google Earth, Google Earth lessons, Teaching resources  Comments Off on Literary Geography: Using Google Earth to investigate Svalbard, the setting for Northern Lights.
Mar 102007

I have written up a new Google Earth teaching idea that combines a study of the modern classic Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, with an investigation of Svalbard, one of the settings for the book. The book is published in the USA as The Golden Compass.

source: Wikipedia

Students act as location-scouts, examining the terrain in Google Earth and adding placemarks to indicate where they would film the various action sequences.

Example outcome:
bear palace

google earth placemark download Google Earth placemark

The film version of the book entitled The Golden Compass, is in production. There is an official site for the film.

Go to the lesson page on Juicy Geography

Dec 152006

Following a post on my Google Earth blog, I reflected that it would be fun to give students named geographical features and get them to find a representative image which they process using the method described by the Artwork Earth post by S. Fjalar

I put togther a quick example gallery, using the first four terms that came to mind:

iceberg intrusion

barchan bar

I made the above images very quickly using the first four words that sprang to mind. The exercise I envisage is more explicitly geographical than the Artwork Earth images. Elusive images (such as the barchan dune) could be given to students with better spatial understanding, therefore differentiating the exercise. The results could make a really good display, or used as a visual glossary of key terms.

Peer vs Public assessment: Google Earth blogs and polls

 Google Earth, Google Earth lessons, Student work, Teaching resources  Comments Off on Peer vs Public assessment: Google Earth blogs and polls
Nov 252006

With peer assessment a currently popular trend, I decided to add a twist and get members of the public to vote and comment on some Year 8 work.


It occurred to me that a basic web poll and blog comments would serve to give students useful feedback on their work. The assignment was based around my Google Earth San Francisco lesson. I’ve mentioned before that the ease with which Google Earth placemarks can be created and shared, makes them ideal for assessing spatially located geographical work.

Go here to my new Google Earth blog to find the poll and the students work. Download the work as a Google Earth file, together with the teaching materials, and vote for your favourite. Leaving a comment would provide the students with additional feedback. We would be particularly keen to hear from any residents of San Francisco!

The students and I would be very grateful for all feedback.

Oct 312006

I’m upgrading the resource page for my Google Earth lesson “Visualizing a Safer City”

screenshot click to enlarge

Thanks to Andrew Field whose recommendation of Wink, an excellent free screen capture program, helped me prepare a Flash-based tutorial to the project files that the lesson requires.

tutorial click to enlarge

Hopefully, more teachers will have a go at this activity, which has been thoroughly tried and tested. “Visualizing a Safer City” offers students the opportunity to understand the principles behind GIS. The visual nature of the activity appeals to all types of learners and the students will appreciate that city planners in San Francisco will be doing an identical task using similar data sets. The task demonstrates the extraordinary potential of applications such as Google Earth to achieve real and meaningful outcomes without the “tech subverting the teach” (to hack a phrase from Ewan Mackintosh thanks to Ollie Bray!)

Get the tutorials, project files, a video and a pdf guide to the resources in one folder.
I have made a short video to introduce the lesson as well as a PDF guide to the teaching resources. These are available free of charge, together with all the other resources on CD ROM or via email. Contact me if you would like them. (A small donation or a free trial of eMusic via this link or just a couple of your own resources would be nice in return)

Oct 222006

I’ve updated the Diamond Trade Google Earth resource file after the path to the images broke.

The accompanying learning materials can be found at Juicy Geography. This lesson was developed with the support of the photojounalist Kadir Van Lohuizen whose stunning collection of images entitled Diamond Matters is available from Amazon books.

It’s now possible to view the Diamond Trade file in Google Maps, very useful in the classroom if Google Earth isn’t available. (This trick works with many Google Earth files – just paste the path to the .kmz file into the Google Map address bar. Overlays aren’t supported yet.) Click the image below to go to the Diamond Trade Google Map:

diamond google map

Read the original post

Jun 282006

I’ve just completed a new resource on the diamond trade. The resource uses Google Earth to locate some excellent images by Kadir Van Lohuizen.

Google Earth screenshot

The latest high resolution coverage of parts of West Africa allows students to find evidence of alluvial diamond mining.

alluvial mining
Alluvial diamond mining, Sierra Leone

Using Google Earth, students can trace the journey that a diamond might make across the world, estimating the total distance travelled. I’ve made several suggestions for other teaching activities.

I’m very happy to host submitted teaching resources for this topic, and comments are welcomed. My thanks to Kadir Van Lohuizen, Sally Hindley, Tony Cassidy and Mike Jones for their help with this resource.

Feb 152006

I’ve just completed an article on the use of Google Earth as a teaching tool to make decisions about wind farm locations. Read article: Investigating Wind Energy with Google Earth

The suggested activites make use of a number of web sites. Creative Commons images linked to Google Earth come from Geograph. The MAGIC interactive map, an excellent UK government resource provides geographic information on a wide range of environmental themes. The lesson also uses the DTI wind speed database.

Investigating Wind Energy gets students to use a number of fairly simple, yet powerful applications to arrive at a decision about a site for a wind farm. They are handling real geographical data, giving the task lots of credibility. Wind energy is an emotive subject and the exercise will get students to question their own values and attitudes. There is plenty to challenge students of different abilities along with an option to extend the activity with some simple modelling in Sketch Up and Photoshop Elements.

I would welcome feedback!