Google Earth was my anticipatory set for teaching about our world and its geographic features. It generated so much interest and excitement! Talk about on task behaviors and teaching and learning together. This activity lent itself to great sharing and conversations! I then had the kids blog about the places that they went to on their exploration. We uploaded pictures of the places we visited on our blog spots. Then they shared with our readers where they went and how they did it! THE KIDS LOVED THIS!!
Here is an example of one of our blog posts:
Next, we started to use Google Earth to find landform representations that our school district essential objectives outline. It was my hope that we could have searched just "mountains" in Google Earth and we would have a ton to choose from, but you do have to put in specific names in order to find what you need. For example you need to type in "Death Valley" in order to get a picture of a "valley". So it's a good idea ahead of time to have several places listed for the students to type in specifically to select from. We searched for mountains, valleys, hills, plains, peninsulas, and islands to meet our objectives. Once students found the pictures they wanted, I had them take a screen shot and upload it to their camera rolls. Then for our next lesson, we used the Skitch app to label our landforms and include its definition right on the picture. Here is an example of "plains" created by one of my students. They loved using the Skitch tools.
Once student were happy with their landform pictures, they took a new screenshot and uploaded it to their camera roll. Then we opened up our Keynote app and created our "Landform Keynotes" where all their landform pictures and definitions would be added. Students were also able to add transitions within the Keynote app for extra effect.
I can't say enough how impressed I am with my student's abilities to move from one app to the next with complete competence and enthusiasm. They loved "smashing the apps" to make "cool projects" about their learning. I am always challenging myself to think how I can take a pencil paper task and bring it to life with the iPads so my students will learn as much as possible. The only thing I would change for the next time is that I will have the kids use the Tellagami app to voice record the definitions of each landform and include them in their final product. One more way to add to our "App Smash!"