It was great to see SLN user Melanie Richards using the photographs of my Year 7 homework to inspire her own students. This is precisely why I continue with the whole blogging lark! Melanie posted an excellent video on You Tube. Her blog Gorgeous Geography is here.
I’m very grateful to Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith of digitally distributed environments for the opportunity given to a class of Year 7 students to design a fantasy building for London. Three of the winning drawings will be modelled in 3D by the team at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, ready to be imported into Google Earth.
One of the submitted designs
Look out for SketchUp. Recently acquired by Google, this software is ideal for adding 3D models to Google Earth. A free license is available for teachers, and there’s a lot of scope for cross-curriculular work with ICT and Design Technology.
Last week I spontaneously decided that it would be a good idea to film some students talking about their homework. I recorded the video on my mobile phone and converted the file into .avi format using Xilisoft 3GP video converter.
Subsequently, I’ve felt that this is a really good way of assessing work. Because the students themselves aren’t in the frame (an important point), they focus on describing their homework. Their understanding is evident, and a collection of short videos like these may be a useful tool when demonstating their progess to a sceptical Ofsted inspector.
I got some Year 10 students to talk about the Year 7′s work today and filmed them in the same way. There were two reasons. Firstly I thought it would be an interesting form of assessment for learning, because the Year 7 students would be able to see how other pupils interpreted their work, and consequently how to improve it. Year 10s got the opportunity to revise some of their work on settlement.
I’ve briefly edited the videos in Windows Movie Maker and the results are available to download below:
Year 7 talk about their work (9.4mb wmv)
Year 10 talk about Year 7 work (4.1mb wmv)
The files play in Windows Media Player, and because of the limitations of the recording device, you may need to turn up the sound on your speakers.
It’s an old technique – but fun nevertheless. Take a photograph, for example this picture of a high rise block in West London.
Now copy the picture into PowerPoint. Plug a microphone into your PC and get students to add their voice annotations using the Insert / Movies and Sounds / Record Sound path. The results can be interesting.
Download a Powerpoint file
View the slideshow and click the audio icons to hear the student’s impressions of life in the Trellick Tower.
This file was made by a group of Year 7 students studying the topic of settlement. The students themselves are from a small rural town in Somerset, UK.
I’ve just managed to do this and here is the result. The resulting map combines various annotated photos, Google Earth models and a panoramic image, and was used to support a field trip to London.
My thanks to Google Maps EZ and Digitally Distributed Environments. I see this as a step forward in creating custom Google Maps for classroom teaching.