Skip to main content

The New Google Earth Voyager for Exploratory Learning

voyager

Exploratory learning can be defined as an approach to teaching and learning that encourages learners to examine and investigate new material with the purpose of discovering relationships between existing background knowledge and unfamiliar content and concepts. Many studies show that exploratory learning environments improve student achievement, most often indirectly by tapping into the students’ intrinsic motivation to explore and discover, something that you spot instantly when you observe kids exploring (without prompting) in outdoor activities. However, outdoor exploration is not an option for millions of students around the world, and when exploration is in foreign countries and remote places, it is impossible for students to explore them.

In this capacity, Google is really pushing forward to help students explore the world right where they are, in the classroom and at home.

Last week, Google introduced voyager for education— a “showcase of interactive tours” meant to enhance the latest version of Google Earth. Voyager works on Google Earth mobile App, Google Earth PC and Google Earth Browser.

Google Earth's new Voyager feature brings visualization and geospatial storytelling to the fore in the redesigned application. Fly through landmarks and cities like London, Tokyo and Rome in stunning 3D, then dive in to experience them first hand with Street View. See the world from a new point of view with Voyager, which brings you one-of-a-kind stories and associated classroom activities from partners like National Geographic, PBS, and more.


Voyager scrn1


Voyager includes storytelling expirations. Many stories were added by PBS, National Geographic, BBC etc., and topics range from stories of explores to pristine seas.











     




Voyager scrn2-07-04-17-53-48





Start exploring stories with a click of a button.














Voyager scrn3



In addition to the geospatial aspect, videos on particular areas are displayed as you move from one place to another. You can easily hide and reveal videos.











Voyager scrn4


You can access voyager and other utilities right from Google Earth screen (this screenshot shows the GE Android app).









Voyager Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities

voyager lesson plans

To help teachers plan effective Voyage geospatial storytelling lessons, Google has included well designed lesson plans and activities that can be incorporated in existing lesson plans. You can access all lesson plans, activities, and any additional resources from Google Earth Education website.

Have you ever used Google Earth in its old version in the classroom? Have you got the chance to use Voyager or at least plan a lesson using Voyager? Share with us your experience in the comments below.

Popular posts from this blog

Edmodo: A Microblogging Educational Platform

I’ve been aware of edmodo for quite a time now though I have never had the chance to use it with my students yet, as the scholastic year did not start yet.
What is Edmodo?
We all know twitter as a social networking platform and a microblogging platform for language learners right!!! The thing is that twitter does not have the security that our students need for safe microblogging. This is where edmodo comes in with its enhanced new features.


Simply put, Edmodo is a microblogging platform for education. You notice this on the home page of edmodo where there you can sign up as a teacher or a student.

Once you enter as a teacher you have to create an account to use edmodo. Your pesonal page contains all the features you need to connect with your students. You can upload assignments with files, link to urls, embed videos, or post a note.
The security in edmodo is that you have to create a group to connect to. Once this is done, you are given a code which in turn you give to your students.…

Moodle 2 Interactive Tool Guide for Teachers

Moodle has been at the forefront of online learning for learning institutions. And, since it is open source, and free for all, it is common that the community that benefit from Moodle to give back in various ways. One such help comes in Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers. It was first done by Joyce Seitzinger, and then adapted to Moodle 2 by Sue Harper.

I have added the feature of interactivity to the guide however. By adding videos to the tool, anyone who wants to learn how to use any tool can just click on the interactive layer and watch the video. I surely hope this helps teachers learn Moodle tools easily and know how each tool affords different learning outcome.

I will hopefully later add more interactivity in terms of instructional design, such as Bloom's taxonomy, assessing learning etc.






The 4 E model for Pedagogical Technology

If you look at the image on the left, you will notice the four key components of technology integration, what Collis & moonen (2002) refer to as key components of “flexible learning in a digital world”. The components ( institution, implementation, pedagogy, and technology) are nested in each other, which means that each depends on and feeds from the other. The approach for the flexible learning can be seen in a top-down, that institution-wide to technological aspect, or in  a bottom-up, that is from the technological aspect all the way up to the institution.

The 4 E Model as a Guide: Collis & Moonen suggest a 4 E model that will guide anyone who wants to integrate flexible learning in each and all key components Ease of use Environment Personal Engagement Educational Effectiveness
Now, I will not go into details of the activity-flexibility abstract framework and its U pedagogical approach. All I want to focus on here is how the 4 E model would guide the teachers in adopting/adapting …