Travel Around the World without Leaving Your Classroom

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Meet the fearless English teachers who dare to travel around the world with Google Maps & Google Expeditions !

Pak Idwan Deshira, one of the most innovative English teacher I’ve ever known invited me to present at Indonesian English Course Teachers Association (IECTA) on Sunday, May 14th at their conference at LBPP LIA Pengadegan, Jakarta.

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In this valuable opportunity, I engaged all participants to practice the potential use of Google Maps & Google Expeditions to design authentic learning experience in language class using their own gadget.

Authentic Learning

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We believe that we can bring authentic learning in classroom by bringing relevant, contextual, engaging, and meaningful experiences which connect to student passion and ideas. In this workshop, teachers will learn pedagogic strategies of how to bring this authentic experience to their class through the potential use of free and practical mobile applications : Google Maps & Google Expeditions. 

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Google Maps

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Launched in 2005, Google Maps is a free web mapping service that help people to discover location, direction, and information. However, not many teachers now that this simple and powerful applications could be utilized to engage students in meaningful learning experiences.

Here are some pedagogical approaches that I am using in my classroom which you can easily replicate:

1. Discover information from location

When Pak Idwan told me that the conference will be host at LBPP Lia Pengadegan, I immediately did simple research about some relevant information of this place. I decided to go deeper by reading the review of this language institution. I am very excited when I see this institution get high review from a lot of people.

2. Be Google Local Guides

You can participate in contributing on Google Maps by:

  • Add a review
  • Publish photos
  • Suggest an edit
  • Add a missing place

Getting Started with Local Guides

Writing a Review

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Before you ask your students to write a review, you can actually teach some basic language skills such as various genre texts you can use for writing a review such as descriptive, response, response, and exposition so students will understand how to write a proper structure of text genre they will put on review.

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Google Local Guide Benefits

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Your contribution on Google Maps is recorded and recognized by Google, therefore, every contributor in Google Maps is called Google Local Guide. Google Local Guide is a global community of local explorer who get special points and level for their contribution.

Each level of Google Local Guides offers unique rewarding experience such as invitation to attend Local Guides Community Event and Summit and to be featured at Google Local Guide Channel.

Local Guides Event in Jakarta

Local Guide Summit

Google Expeditions

Google Expeditions enable students to travel around the world virtually while their language skills are developed through virtual field trip. Google Expeditions are collections, scenes or virtual reality panoramas — 360° photo spheres, 3D images and video — annotated with details, highlights, and questions that make them easy to integrate into curriculum already used in schools.

Without realizing it, this application provides authentic learning experience in which students practice reading, listening, and speaking in language class. This safe, engaging, and fun environment created by Google Expeditions can also motivate students to improve students’ confidence in reading English text, pronouncing new vocabulary, and presenting various genre of texts in engaging way.

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1. Choose Your Role 

After downloading the apps, teachers need to choose their role as guide meanwhile students need to choose their role as explorer then they can join by clicking selected expeditions.

2. Choose Your Expeditions

Teachers control the pace of the expedition by guiding the students through sequence of information, questions, and 360 pictures available on the application. After that, teachers can choose a variety of expeditions available, questions are displayed on the board with answer options that the students can select from their devices.

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3. Switch Role

Not only have teachers can use Google Expeditions for leading field trip, but teachers can also turn it over the students to lead expeditions. This is as simple as switching the role between guide and explorer on the applications. First, teachers can provide some available options of expedition that students want to lead. After that, students lead the expedition that they choose and learn information from the expeditions guidelines. Then, students start leading the expeditions with the script that can be flexibly adapted based on their preferences.

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Finally, these applications coupled with a relevant language goal-oriented approach will encourage learners to practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing in ways that resemble more closely how they normally engage with the digital facets of their own lives.

“Tell me I’ll forget. Show me I may remember. Involve me I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

Are you ready to explore the world without leaving the classroom ?      Go to your Appstore and download Google Maps & Google Expeditions now !

If you’re interested to know more about Google Maps & Expeditions, or other recommended educational applications for your class, feel free to email me at steven.sutantro@gmail.com!

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In the end, I also shared Google for Education certifications program which teachers can learn so the can use the full power of Google Suites for Education. You can explore the sample study group program here.

This conference had recharged my energy as I met amazing teachers and students who have strong passion to learn and grow to become better educators ! Their students are super lucky to have them in class.  Looking forward to collaborate with Indonesian English Course Teachers Association (IECTA) in the future! HAPPY TRAVELING! 

Photo Courtesy of Idwan Deshira

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