Monday, September 17, 2007

Google Earth meets the Odyssey

During my first few years at AHS, Maura Moritz and I developed an assignment where we had our freshmen complete personal learning journeys on big laminated map mimicking Odysseus own journey. Along the map, they had to carefully mark 10 places they had visited, what they did there, as well as what they learned from the experience. We displayed the maps around the classroom and everyone could marvel at all the places their classmates have traveled.

Once I was introduced to PowerPoint, I updated this assignment to the use of PowerPoint complete with linking slides and maps. However, this past spring, I watched a presentation from Mike Porter about his use of Google Earth and saw how The Odyssey Personal Learning Journey could take on a whole new level.

My students will be creating a Google Earth journey of their travels following the same criteria as before looking at where they went, what they did there, and most importantly, what they learned. Odysseus during his travels learned something about himself as well as other cultures along his journey home, and I hope they will do this as well. I am hoping that these will be true reflections of their learning. Also, I am anxious to see the impact that these presentations will have on one another. Will they find they have visited similar places? Will they see and reveal the lessons they have learned over their short life thus far? Putting together my presentation did that for me. It was difficult to recall some moments, but allowed for me to really laugh and appreciate all I have been through. I would love to know suggestions others might have for this assignment. Although mine doesn't contain pictures, video or audio, these are things I am thinking of adding to their presentations.

Here are their examples

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