Chris Marshall is a little on the fruity side.

Please do not judge him because of that.


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“Navigating Our World: A Google Earth Scavenger Hunt”

Using one of the premiere tools in geographical exploration, Google Earth, I would like to research the benefits of using this technology to augment the study of our Earth’s greatest landmarks in a high school level geography class. The technology allows the user to zoom in at an exceptional rate to view any position on Earth from a still, satellite photograph, and the students would first be briefed and interactively guided through the basic uses of the program. At the outset of a course, students would be placed into “Explorer Teams,” and at the beginning of each new unit, students would explore the given region of study as a team using Google Earth to navigate and search out key landmarks. At the outset of the course, students will be integrated into a WikiSpace site, where their teams would create their own unique page, linking their findings for the rest of the class to observe.

This research fulfills the following elements of NETS: 1.) Allows students an opportunity to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies and issues. 2.) Applies multiple methods of evaluation for a diverse range of learning styles. 3.) Meets content standards for geography/social studies benchmarks. 4.) Puts into use technologies that affirm diversity both in the classroom and in the world.

Data collection will primarily take place during a pilot study using a condensed group of students (6-8) from Aloha High School. Data will be collected through observation of two classroom sessions where students will be introduced to the technology and then will be released to explore it based on an established criteria and a focused end result.

Using the data collected from the classroom sessions, I will then analyze the data based on the criteria provided by TCPK. The WikiSpace element will be much harder to analyze as its long-term use in the classroom will not be aptly researched due to the constraints of time. In order to include it in my findings, I will conduct a search of teachers who have successfully implemented the technology and interview them based on their findings and how they might affect a study of this kind.

I predict that students will be, as a result of the Google Earth technology, engaged and fascinated by the study. Knowing that the study of geography can be dampened by the relative proximity of the student to the areas being studied, the Google Earth technology provides a tangible learning experience that affirms the relationship of the student to the world around them.

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