It’s not about finding a beautiful place. It’s about making your place meaningful. This is my experience at Google Geo Education Trainer Network (GETN) in Sydney, Australia.
Google Geo Education Trainer Network (GETN)
13 Champion Educators & Trainers.
Asia Pacific. Australia. New Zealand. Japan. Singapore. Hongkong. Thailand. Indonesia.
Many people might assume that Geo Education Trainer Network are IT experts or GEO experts who know everything about computer or geography. Well, for me that’s not true!
For me, Geo Education Trainer Network are passionate educators who come from beautiful places on earth with one mission to empower education community to make ‘a place’ more meaningful and beautiful through most powerful GEO tools such these applications.
“Fly through landmarks and cities in stunning 3D, then dive in to experience them first hand with Street View.
See the world from a new point of view with Voyager, which brings you stories from the BBC, NASA, Sesame Street and more.
Start exploring: https://g.co/earth.” Google Earth
The First Look of New Google Earth
How to use Earth in our Class
Students can explore 3D experiences and voyager stories of the earth. This newly launched app has changed the way we learn and teach our students in more contextual and powerful stories that we’ve never imagined. You’ll see how place do matters in any topics in your lessons.
Voyagers on Google Earth, a New Perspective to See the Earth.
This new feature of Google Earth will bring you to see our earth from a new perspective. With short description, stories, streetview, you will learn Google Earth will make a place more meaningful. Working together with the most amazing institutions on Earth, Voyager will bring you to the most amazing places on earth. You can absolutely try this voyager in your class!
Google My Maps
Customize Your Mapping Experience.
How to use My Maps in class: Students can tell their perspectives on certain contextual locations by pinning them geographically and sharing summary of their stories with meaningful links such as video, pictures, and information.
More Reasons to use Google My Maps: https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/10-reasons-use-google-my-maps-classroom
Walk in the Footsteps of World Travelers.
How to use Streetview in class:
Students can type in just about any location on Earth and experience 360 virtual field trip. Students can also contribute to create their own 360 images and upload them to the Street View library for the world to see. More resources for teachers: https://www.fractuslearning.com/2014/12/03/class-tour-google-street-view/
Google Tour Builder
Put Your Story on the Map.
How to use Tour Builder in class:
Students can tell their own journey or someone’s else journey by creating tour of different locations with stories, pictures and video which can enrich the story.
Bring Your Lessons to Life.
How to use Expeditions in class:
Students can lead and follow various expeditions through amazing curated places on earth. With the Google Cardboard, students will get immersive experiences which allow them to explore unique facts with fantastic virtual reality experience.
“Daydream is a comfortable, easy-to-use headset and controller designed with choice in mind which allow you to experience high quality virtual experience.”
I was totally excited for my first experience using this innovative VR tool: Daydream. Imagine how this tool can be utilized to bring virtual field trip in your class with control feature.
Place Based Learning
“Mapping isn’t just for geography and history classes. ELA, math, and science can use maps to organize work in a spatial context.”Kevin Zahner , History teacher.
Photo Courtesy of Patrick Green & Phuttarak Mulmuang
During the GETN sessions, we explored, discussed, presented creative ideas to use these powerful mapping tools to create place based learning experience based on diverse subject and school needs. With multiple perspective of Asia Pacific educators, we learned the most relevant strategies to empower teachers and students in the world to utilize the full power of available Geo tools. For me, it’s been amazing privilege to meet the first cohort of GETN Asia Pacific. Their innovative journey inspired to do MORE for my countries and world. Photo Courtesy of Phuttarak Mulmuang (GETN)
Their passion, openness, ideas humility, collaborative spirit in learning and teaching are definitely contagious. Being the only Indonesian in this network challenged me to bring more passionate educators to join this incredible journey!
Real Field Trip (Not Virtual!)
Photo Courtesy of Angelica & Kenny Fellix
I do believe beyond exploring the beauty of Sydney landmarks, the most beautiful moment I’ve experienced in Sydney is to meet my ‘old’ students who gave the most wonderful ‘REAL’ field trip (not virtual reality) in many places in Sydney.
Queen Victoria Building (QVB). Circular Quay. Sydney Opera House. Vivid Sydney.
Make a Place Meaningful
“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others MAKE a place BEAUTIFUL.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
Educators, you might not teach/live at a ‘beautiful, ideal, perfect, supportive’ place yet it’s time to make your place ‘beautiful’ by going out of our your comfort zone and do MORE with your ‘place’ with meaningful contribution to inspire people! Here’s how:
Share your unique experiences/ questions in using or presenting Google Geo tools (Google Earth, Maps, MyMaps, Tour Builder, Expeditions) by posting your questions, photos, blog, or video on twitter/instagram with this hashtag #MakeAPlaceMeaningful and mention me @Steven_Sutantro
Check out how Google Maps & Expeditions can be implemented in your class by reading this post : Traveling Around the World without Leaving Your Classroom #MakeAPlaceMeaningful
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on how to make a place meaningful by using these GEO tools in your classes (applied for any subjects!)
if you’re interested to be Google Certified Educators, you can check my blog post here: How to Become Google Certified Educator