Hitting the Ground Running

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Over the course of the next few months TK Lee, Chris Millet and I will have the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science at Penn State Brandywine, during her Faculty Fellowship here at ETS.  This summer Laura is looking to leverage interactive storytelling in the choose your own adventure vein to create interactive educational experiences that will improve student learning.  Of course interactive fiction has been around for a long time and so Laura is looking to up the ante by creating such stories with Google Earth to tie spacial awareness - one of her core learning objectives - into the mix. And we're here to help.

gearth.pngOur goal for the summer is three-fold.  First, we're looking to create several Google Earth based stories that Laura can take and immediately use in her teaching during the next academic year. Second, we're looking to build a resource library and a template/ tutorial that will make it easy for other students or faculty to create their own stories in Google Earth with minimal technical knowledge.  And finally, we want to build a research agenda that will assess our efforts and advance Laura's scholarship.  Did I mention we might go mobile with all this too?

We're about two weeks in from our first team meeting and the team has hit the ground running.  Thanks to a bit of experimentation, we have the humble beginnings of an Google Earth based interactive story framework.  TK has also discovered a potentially powerful and very simple way to use Google Spreadsheets to populate Earth that we'll be exploring over the next week. 

Laura will be visiting University Park next week and we're hoping to use her time here to flesh out a solid prototype and begin to think critically about how we're ultimately going to assess the impact this tool could have.  Stay tuned - some very cool things are cooking.

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This is an awesome project with really cool potential. This is a space I am not entirely familiar with so I will be watching this one come to life very closely. I am also really interested in how the google spreadsheets mash up will turn out.

This is an outstanding project that I find really cool and interesting. Great use of the Google Earth software.

Impressed with the actionable and near term research objectives!


Laura, TK, Chris, and Chris, I think what you're doing is so great and much needed!

I've only ever "played" with Google Earth and used it to find locations of where we are and where we are going in terms of sharing world music with children. I don't know anything about making "stories" or the "mashup with spreadsheets" that Cole is referring to, but can't wait to find out! Google Earth appears to have such potential in teaching, but how does one use it to its potential? I have no idea and look forward to learning from you!

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TLT Fellows will play a critical role in the success of many initiatives across Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT). Fellows are essential to the future of TLT's network as connecting points of intelligence, insight, energy, and knowledge-sharing. TLT Fellows will help to drive thinking from within to directly influence later projects and to share fresh ideas and skills with the larger Penn State community. Learn more about how to become a Fellow.

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