Screenshot from one of the tutorial videos
Last year we invited a group of geography school teachers into the school of Geography and the environment at Southampton and asked what we, as local university, could do to help them. The most popular request was 'train us to teach GIS'. So today I am pleased to announce the launch of
a miniMOOC designed to help teachers use Google Earth to teach GIS in schools. It's still in Beta (i.e. I'm going to continue improving it) so feedback would be very welcome.
A miniMOOC? I realise that a mini massive open online course is a bit of an oxymoron but it captures the important characteristics of the course:
- There is no organised start date, you just access the materials as and when. I may organise course presentations in the future.
- Its the online equivalent of a half INSET day I've been running for several years
Been Here Before: When Google Earth first appeared in 2005 I recognised that it had fantastic potential as a teaching tool. I also thought that video was a powerful medium for teaching software and so in 2006 I launched Kokae which was an early kind of xMOOC teaching anyone how to use Google Earth to make maps.
Turns out I was more or less right about Google Earth (it is the most common GIS in schools, but less commonly used in Universities) and really right about video as 2006 was also the year Khan Academy started. However, unlike Khan academy Kokae didn't take off so I abandoned it for other experiments in open learning (videos in Google Earth, text based materials). Now I'm back to a similar format to Kokae once more.