New ideas for using Twitter in the classroom appear daily. Regardless of the activity, we recommend that you have a separate school Twitter account. In this activity, we used Twitter and Google Earth to challenge students to get to know their locality better.
Why not… Discover local sites of historic interest on www.historypin.com
Ask learners to list historical sites in their locality. Ask them to read their lists to the class, allowing time for other groups to add ones they missed to their own lists. If needed, give them a Google Earth tutorial.
Why not… watch the beginners’ tutorials at http://www.google.com/earth/learn/beginner.html
With their list in hand, ask them to use Google Earth to find the coordinates of each of the local historical sites. Remind them that they will need to be accurate because they will be using them to direct others.
When they’ve done this, Tweet some of the coordinates and see if they get responses from people who can name the location. We’ve found it helps to warn those on the network that your class will be doing this; otherwise they could have to wait days!
Why not… – Use Google Earth to search for historical imagery of your locality http://www.google.com/earth/learn/beginner.html#tab=historical-imagery
Finally, ask them to look for photos of the sites on www.historypin.com. Which ones have been ‘pinned’? Are there any that haven’t? Discuss with them that in order to pin photographs they must either take the photos themselves, or find examples that are licence free. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of respecting others’ ‘online property’ and the dangers of using material that is owned by others without their permission.
Why not… Use http://search.creativecommons.org to find copyright-free images.
- Twitter account (one set up and sanctioned by the school)
- Internet access
Done in this way, students can explore their locality quickly and efficiently. It is not a replacement for field trips or visits but a way in which they can ‘visit’ multiple sites as many times as they like quickly and inexpensively.
Also good for…
Geography (locating physical and man-made features), Science (exploring the sun, moon and mars http://www.google.com/earth/learn/beginner.html#tab=exploring-mars-moon-and-sky
Twitter, geotweets, coordinates, history, maps, locations, Google Earth, Pinterest