My unit involves students learning about maps, the significant concept that students will hopefully remember is that maps are useful for a variety of reasons. The logic behind selecting this as the significant concept is that throughout the unit students have explored several different types of maps and inquired into why they believe they are useful. Technology was a very crucial part of this unit, as we discovered that the way people use maps has dramatically changed. From creating and designing maps from hand, to using google earth to create our own personal maps, with only parts of the world we want to include. That being sad we started with the basics of BLOTS, where students hand drew a map of NIST, this also brought them through the evolution of how maps have changed.Then we got into the FUN STUFF! We used several great sites.
Map Zone, which has mapping games for kids, teaching them about navigation. Another site we used, to show how maps were useful for a variety or reasons is WorldMapper. This site is for students to pick a topic they are interested in and see how it can be mapped out throughout the world.
Our final task was for students to create there own googlemap, a tour of Bangkok, where they needed to include places for families and friends to visit. We posted their maps on our class blog and also made them public on google earth. The kids were very excited about sharing their maps with the world, as so they also recommended which age group the map would be most useful for. Overall the students enjoyed this unit and I feel were able to meet the NET standards of engaging with real world issues and solving problems using technology. The next time we do this unit there are some changes I would like to make with regards to an activity on publishing photos and images, but I am looking forward to learning about this topic in our next course.
Reflection on the course
I have started to get myself organized in terms of the mass amount of information I look at. My goals for this first course were to establish a system by which I have a PLC through twitter, and I can organize the information that I read.
Previous to this course I did not have an RSS feeder and received a a constant flow of emails in my inbox, which clearly got to be very overwhelming. With the RSS feeder on google I have subscribed to new blogs that interest my learning about technology. I also started using netvibes to organize the information I receive. So far I like the format of google because I can look at a my email and work on googledocs at the same time.
Over the summer I am going to work on getting use to netvibes and then making a decision on which one works best for me! I have also indulged and purchased a new iphone 4, and am getting use to using that as well. I feel I have achieved my goals for course one, got my information organized and more manageable, developed my PLC and read exciting new ideas linked to technology.