Friday, May 24, 2013

Google Earth for Teachers: Open Course

Tutorial 1 from the course as a taster

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

an open course designed to help teachers use Google Earth to teach GIS in schools.  You need to register to get in (links on the right hand side) and it's still in Beta (i.e. I'm going to continue improving it) so feedback would be very welcome.

What do you mean by an Open 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
  • I'm not calling it a MOOC as it has nothing to do with the official FutureLearn MOOC program at Southampton University.
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 open course with short videos teaching 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.

UPDATE:  edited 24/6/13 from original form to avoid confusion with the official FutureLearn MOOC program at Southampton University.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One on One Google Earth training offer for Teachers

Interested in learning how to use Google Earth and a Geography school teacher?  I'd like to test some materials I've produced so if you'd like some one on one tutoring and you:
  • Are prepared to meet me in Finchley, London or Highfield campus, Southampton University, Southampton in the next 2 weeks
  • Are not a whizz at GIS
  • But are capable of doing basic computer tasks (look for things with Google maps, manage files on a hard drive)
I can offer the equivalent of 90 minutes training for free.  First come, first served, email me at rwt at soton dot ac dot uk.