As I have mentioned already that how boring could be the geographical studies for most of us. It is not because the subject itself doesn’t boost any interest but in fact these are the methods and the way such subjects are being taught from decades. Majority would agree that advancement of technology calls for enhancing the education since education is one important foundation for all advancements.
Geographical studies are very much important in progress of a country many ways. It helps evaluate the statistics in every field of economy and infrastructure. To be honest, the infrastructure for a country is completely dependent on geographical studies. We are very much familiar with black & white and coloured reference maps which are available from local book depots. They would definitely appeal a lot in a text book unless you already have used any latest geographical platform such as Bing or Google Maps. Telling the truth, paper maps still are appealing enough to major part of our secondary & high level education as it continues missing the enhancement in teaching levels & access to appropriate resources.
Employees at Survey of Pakistan work with somewhat can be called the latest available technology for the department and this all hard work goes either into office shelves or to specific government departments on request. Unfortunately, limiting this constructive information and ignoring the most important sharer, “The public” are only left with reference paper maps with a maximum of city level zoom printed from A1 to A5 sizes. I may write regarding limited public information later sometime in details but here I am going to provide some resources which are very helpful not only for learning but also developing a keen interest in learners and exploring new themes in life.
Google Resources for Education
Why I chose Google? I would say that it’s free, helpful and resourceful. Since we are talking geo education particularly so resources mentioned below are chosen accordingly. However if you would like to learn what type of resources are available for other subjects then please see Google Education.
Following are the resources that Google provides to enhance the geo education for students and for teachers.
Geo Education Home is the place to start with as it provides the general and detail information on how to use the Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Sky & Google Sketch up. The starting kits provide with basic instructions on setting up the software for use by listing out 5 to 10 easy things.
All set up already! So what’s next? Yes, the ideas for classroom. Explore the various classroom ideas or use your own and make most of the resources. If you find it not enough to run through whole year then jump into the Educators Discussion Group or Talk Teacher-to-Teacher and see what else you can do with these resources. Nevertheless, these resources are not limited to only university and college level students/tutors but you can choose grade levels from Nursery to All grades for classroom activities.
If you are a teacher from primary and secondary level of education then there is a Google Certified Teachers program which is award for those who attend the Google Teacher Academy. Google Teacher Academy is free professional development experience using innovative technologies.
Google has also announced Google Science Fair, a rewarding competition calling young students between age of 13 to 18 years from around the world to participate. Prizes include a scholarship of $50,000 for further studies of the winner.
Google Earth for Geographical Education
Google Earth is software which provides with high definition images captured from different satellites at different times for planet Earth, Mars, Moon and Sky in whole. Despite all resources mentioned above, you can get many beneficial outcomes from Google Earth only. Google Earth is free but Google Earth Pro can be granted to institutes marking their compelling needs for Pro features of the software.
Teach with Google Earth professionally by exploring lots of Tutorials & Tips and rich classroom resources. BBS Keyhole Google Earth community is a very resourceful forum with thousands of every kind of places of interest from around the world to explore.
If you are an organisation of type that wants Google to provide the specific resources and solutions then Google Earth Outreach is your best choice. The program has helped communities globally in all kind of matters from current affairs to public health.
Hopefully the article is useful for educationists and so do let us know.