Hello there.  My students and I have just completed an online project where anyone around the world can explore the China's Forbidden City with Google Earth and watch short student videos (link).

 

I am curious about

- if you would use this in your classroom, and what classes and grades you teach

- if there are any issues with viewing the site

- any recommendations you have on improving the site

- references to anyone else you have seen doing similar work

 

Thanks for your feedback!

(It's best to view the site if you are using the Chrome web browser or if you have have the Google Earth plug-in)

 

Tags: China, City, Dynasty, Earth, Forbidden, Google, Ming, Ralston, Stuart, collaboration, More…constructivist, gearth, learning, technology

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I absolutely loved this! Well done.
Thank you! It has been a very fun project for all of us

This is such a neat way to use Google Earth. The videos your students created brought history to life. It would be really neat to collaborate with several classes in different locations. Each class could put together a virtual field trip of their city or a specific location and then share it with the other classes. I believe students would be excited to create a project like this knowing it would be shared with other students (and teachers). Each class would reap the benefit of seeing the locations through the eyes and experience of people who live there with each student playing the role of virtual tour guide. How long did it take to put the entire project together? Is there a tutorial or instruction guide that you followed to create this project? I loved that each student provides a video, quiz, and written transcript of the video. I have only two recommendations and they are small. First, would it be possible to make the quizzes interactive? It would be neat for students who are viewing the information to be able to click on the answer they choose and instantly see if it is correct. Second, it was a bit difficult to hear a few of the students in their videos. Would it be possible to have students use a microphone so that they can be heard more clearly? Overall however, this was an amazing project - I appreciate you sharing. 

I agree this would be a fabulous global project.

Thank you for your support and ideas.  Yes and yes, I would love for other teachers to share similar videos, no matter the disciplin.  A collection of Virtual Field Trips seems to be exactly what this site is about.  The students are already asking me if others have posted videos they can watch.

 

How long did it take to put the entire project together?

Classroom time needed was about 10 days (scaffolding, explaining the field trip and project, student research, the actual field trip, debriefing, video viewing and quiz taking).  I spent a little longer than that figuring out the best website layout, video formatting, etc.

 

Is there a tutorial or instruction guide that you followed to create this project?

No guide.  I created this project with a few guiding principles, experiential education, student-driven learning and web-based teaching technologies.  If you were to follow a guide for a Virtual Field Trip, what would you need to know?

 

I loved that each student provides a video, quiz, and written transcript of the video. I have only two recommendations and they are small. First, would it be possible to make the quizzes interactive? It would be neat for students who are viewing the information to be able to click on the answer they choose and instantly see if it is correct.

I agree!  I am currently looking for a free html quiz maker.  Do you know of any?

 

Second, it was a bit difficult to hear a few of the students in their videos. Would it be possible to have students use a microphone so that they can be heard more clearly?

A mic would have been a good idea.  I'll certainly do that with future projects.

 

Overall however, this was an amazing project - I appreciate you sharing.

You're welcome!  Thanks again for the feedback and please feel free to pass this project along.  I would love to see more VFTs!

Very good Stuart,

  I would recommend that you take a look at some of the Google Earth lessons I have on my site, RealWorldMath.org, and also Jerome Burg's GoogleLit Trips.  You have a great combination of media used in the presentation.  A few supportive ideas I have would be...

  • I like to encourage interaction within Google Earth.  By providing links to all of the videos on the webpage, I was able to bypass GE.  Personally, I wouldn't give that option.
  • I liked how you used Chrome.  I haven't gone in that direction yet.  It could be viewed entirely in Google Earth if you posted your videos to YouTube or Google Video.  You can embed those videos in Google Earth placemarks.  Still, with the Chrome plug-in you are probably able to reach more viewers.
  • Here's a link to more icon choices for placemarks.  It's a useful collection for creating tours.
  • Post this in the Classroom 2.0 Discussion Forum tagged "gearth".  I think you can just edit this post and add that gearth tag to the ones you already have.
  • Make more!  Show us China.

Feel free to contact me if there's anything you think I can help you with.  Jerome is very supportive also.

Thomas,

 

Thanks for the ideas and feedback.  I agree that it should all happen within Google Earth, but as of now it's not possible to embed videos within the embedded google earth plugin in Chrome.  I'm working on uploading all of the videos to youtube, so that I can make the .kmz available for folks to download and use on their local Google Earth program.

 

You've got a great page going as well.  I'm going to pass your lessons along to our math department!

 

Cheers

Hello again Thomas,

 

Good news and bad news.

Bad News: Google Gadget continues to have a hard time with embedded information within the embedded gadget - kind of makes sense.

 

Good News!

All videos have been uploaded to YouTube (link) and the .kmz files are there for the downloading (link).  This way, as you pointed out, the entire experience can happen within Google Earth.

 

Next virtual field trip?  Possibly the trans-siberian railroad.

 

This is a really great way to integrate technology into the classroom! I'm very impressed, it allows for exploration, interaction, and more authentic learning. Rather than just looking at an old style map or text book, the students can really get a better feel for the area. I can easily see myself using this technique in the future for many sites all over the world. And as Google's street view becomes more in-depth, that could theoretically be an even better option.
Thanks Larry.  Yes, the interactive nature was what drove me to create this project.  I'm glad you're thinking of using it.  If you create a virtual field trip, please let us know!
Hello again! Now that a new school year has started, I'm wondering if any of you have had a chance to use this virtual field trip yet? If you have, or if you have any suggestions or feedback, please send me a message. Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you. stuart at stuartralston dot com
This is a great project, thanks for sharing it!

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