We throw around a lot of buzzwords and catch phrases like "21st century learning" and "technology integration" and "flipping the classroom" but what all of this essentially boils down to is figuring out a way to use new tools to do new things. If you're using new technologies to do the same old things you've been doing for the last hundred years, you aren't using the technology effectively.
So, with no further ado, I introduce to you Techie Tuesdays (don't you like the fancy schmancy logo?). Every Tuesday (or as often as I can remember) I'll be posting a new tool or site I've introduced my teachers to along with some suggestions for how to apply it to education. This week we have...
|Screenshot of geoguessr.com|
If you're a twenty-something like me making minimal money and suffering from severe wanderlust, GeoGuessr is an easy way to see other places and quash those pre-summer travel daydreams. But be warned, it's very easy to waste long stretches of time here. I've fallen prey to the "just one more game" curse more times than I care to admit.
GeoGuessr is an extremely simple (and addictive) game. When you go to the website, you are given a picture from Google Earth from anywhere in the world. You can look around and sometimes move a few places forward or back. Then you have to guess where in the world you are. The game gives you a score based on how close your guess is from your actual location and you get five rounds per game. Then you can share your score with friends or classmates to compete for Best GeoGuessr (or some similarly arbitrary but exciting honorary title).
Applications for Education:
Most obviously, it would be great with a world Geography Class. Students can look at all sorts of things to infer their location. What does the landscape look like? What style are the buildings? What language (or alphabet) are the signs written in? What side of the road are the cars driving on? What do the people look like and wear? Are distances marked in miles or kilometers? A sample lesson might start with a discussion of these questions and continue on to the game itself.
This is also a game that could be used with English or Creative Writing classes. English classes could talk about context clues and discuss the way that different details help to create a realistic setting. And Creative Writing classes might try to set different writing exercises in places they've never visited, infer things like the sounds and smells of a place from looking at a picture.
That's al for today, folks. I hope you enjoy GeoGuessr as much as I have. On second thought, if you enjoy it as much as I do, we might have a problem. I hope you find GeoGuessr an educational tool worthy of being passed along to your friends and colleagues. Be sure to tune in next week for another exciting episode of Techie Tuesday!