Technology Integration Plan
In reading Fitzpatick’s article and attending the Geospatial Technologies class I will operate under the assumption that there is much to be learned in this field, I don’t have to know everything, and geospatial technology has the ability to engage my students in critical thinking activities that are applicable to their lives and future careers.
I thought the class scavenger hunt was great. I am purchasing a set of GPS units for our school that will be used in multiple activities. Activities on my list are the downtown scavenger hunt, geo caching, and map making. In the map making activity new students will be given immediate answers to many of their questions regarding the location of downtown resources. My class will create a series of Google earth downtown maps that will provide directions accompanied with pictures that show the routes to local venues of interest. For example, new students often ask about the location of the bus stop, parking garage, or the job center. Once the maps are created I can have the kids access the school website and quickly find the links that will lead them to maps with pictures.
In an effort to make the presidential campaign trail more exciting I will have my government class create a candidate watch. This is a borrowed activity from Cheryl Davis and can be found at http://www.google.com/educators/6_12.html. Students are grouped in teams and each team chooses a candidate to track. Using Google earth teams post a place marker where their candidate announced their bid for presidency and provide a link to their announcement speech. Using Google overlay students will post a picture of their candidate under the place marker descriptions which might include the candidate’s website, advertisements, recent poll numbers, political party affiliation, etc. Teams will save their work as a KMZ file and share with the class. I will update the files when they are loaded and direct discussion regarding geography, political shifts, and the latest news. Other features might include a spreadsheet on Google docs where each team grades their candidate's debate performance and posts information about their candidate to be viewed by the class.
Geography postcards is another idea. A school in Oregon has invited students to join their Google earth geography post card project by asking student that browse their page to post pictures and background information about historical sights in their area. For Alaska studies, I have thought about having students add to this project by posting historical sights around Alaska they have visited or read about. The shared project only had one place marker for Alaska so I’m sure some data on historical sights in Alaska would be appreciated.
My school, Avail, is unique in that most of my students work primarily on independent study work because they are working on credit remediation. They are almost all behind in their studies and each student is working on a different class so consequently I do very little direct teaching. I am excited about the Google map activities described because I believe it will allow me to bring students working on different subjects and on various grade levels together to collaborate. Geospatial technology can be integrated into the independent course work assigned making it more engaging and enriching for students. The possibilities are endless.