As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!
Q: I can’t find enough detail about a particular area of the world that we’re studying in class. Any suggestions?
A: That’s a lot easier to do today than it used to be, thanks to Google Street View. Students love walking down the street that they just read about in a book or seeing their home on the internet. It’s also a valuable research tool for writing. What better way to add details to a setting than to go see it?
Introduce students to web-based geography activities that can be done in five or ten minutes between lessons, before lunch, in free time. I include five in this lesson.[caption id="attachment_4325" align="aligncenter" width="567"] Geography sponges for extra classroom time[/caption]
It’s the time of year when children are looking for entertainment and parents want something fun to keep their cerebral fires burning. Entertainment-cerebra–that’s not an oxymoron. Check this website on States, and then check out the other topics available on Quiz Factor.
Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.
Here’s a great question I got from Dawn:
We have upgraded our Computer Lab computers to Windows 7, some programs are now obsolete since they were DOS and will not run with 7. Carmen San Diego is one we used for Geography. Some teachers are sad we can’t use that anymore – the students did enjoy it. Do you know of anything our that can take its place? Thanks for your time!
I know what you mean. We tried to run it at my school–spent too much time tweaking everything–and never succeeded. I’ve had to toss it.
There are a few geography games you can look into:
- Geography games–National Geographic
- Geography—geonet game (from Houghton Mifflin)
- Geography Games II
They’re OK, but not as good as CSD. I’ll post your comment–see if anyone has any other ideas.
This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:
…and start the week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.
I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.
Explore the Wonders of Google Earth
Students create their own tour on Google Earth using locations selected by the classroom teacher. They add the locations to Google Earth, add a fact about it and turn it into a tour.
Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.[caption id="attachment_7627" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Use Google Earth to drive a ship"][/caption]
Every Friday I’ll send you a wonderful website that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.
Students select from a list of Wonders of the World (or locations put together in conjunction with the classroom teacher). They do brief research on it, locate it using Google Earth and make a short presentation to the class about it.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.
- About Rivers www.42explore.com/rivers.htm
- Biomes/Habitats http://www.allaboutnature.com/biomes/
- Deserts http://www.42explore.com/deserts.htm
- Explore the Colorado http://www.desertusa.com/colorado/explorriver/du_explorrv.html
- Geography Activities—for teachers www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/
- Geography Game—Geospy kids.nationalgeographic.com/Games/GeographyGames/Geospy
- Geography Quiz Game www.quia.com/pop/114591.html
- Geography Reading Problems www.tv411.org/lessons/cfm/reading.cfm?str=reading&num=8&act=4&que=1
- GeoNet Game www.eduplace.com/geonet/
- Labeling Maps www.iknowthat.com/com/L3?Area=LabelMaps
- Landforms make a greeting www.geogreeting.com/main.html
- Landforms www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/landforms.htm
- Landforms—matching games, etc. www.quia.com/jg/29.html
- Los Angeles River Tour http://www.lalc.k12.ca.us/target/units/river/tour/index.html
- Map skills www.tv411.org/lessons/cfm/reading.cfm?str=reading&num=8&act=3&que=1
- Mapping Game www.sheppardsoftware.com/states_experiment_drag-drop_Intermed_State15s_500.html
- Rivers Seen from Space http://www.athenapub.com/rivers1.htm
- The Colorado River http://www.desertusa.com/gc/gcd/du_glencaydam.html
- What’s on a Map www.tv411.org/lessons/cfm/reading.cfm?str=reading&num=8&act=2&que=1
- Zambezi River Tour http://www.on-the-matrix.com/africa/zambezi.asp