Using Google Earth

Lilia at Rough Castle © David Gill

Here are some ideas for using Google Earth (GE) for teaching.

1. Download GE software to the computer

2. Open GE

3. Place a marker

  • Click on yellow marker.
  • Move the marker to the precise point. (This can be moved later if you make a mistake.)
  • Type the name of the place, e.g. ‘Rough Castle’.
  • Press return key and then click ‘OK’.

4. Move marker

  • Ctrl+mouse: choose get info.
  • You can then move the location and add information.

5. Add a video

  • Go to YouTube, e.g.
  • Click on ‘Share’.
  • Choose ‘Embed’.
  • Unclick ‘include related videos’.
  • Choose size.
  • Copy code in box (CTRL+A, CTRL+A).
  • Open the information box on Google Earth, e.g. Rough Castle
  • Paste (CTRL+V) the code into the box.
  • Click OK
  • Video will run directly from tag.

6. Add a link

7. Save an image of the area
File — save — save image

Rough Castle using Google Earth

8. Save the locations to share with others

  • Create a folder under ‘places’, E.g. Antonine wall
  • Drag the locations into folder
  • Click on Antonine Wall
  • File — save — save my place as, e.g. Antonine_wall.kmz
  • Save file onto website, Blackboard, or email.

9. To use folder

  • In Google Earth, File+Open.
  • Navigate to kmz file and open.
  • If you want to keep file on your computer drag out of temporary area.

Smart phones in Wales

There is an interesting statement about the use of Smart Phones in Wales [Welsh Assembly Government disclosure].

Wales had the highest proportion of people with a 3G mobile phone in the UK (28%), above the UK average of 26%

Should we be looking at delivering more e-learning material to smart phones?

iPad for primates

The Sun – not my normal reading – has carried a story about the use of iPads by gorillas by Port Lympne wild animal park (here). The project is reported to have been supported by academics from the University of Kent. The trial has been with the original iPad.

I am grateful to the Today programme for the prompt.

You've got an "ology"?

I watched the recording of Zaid Ali Alsagoff’s live session Sharing to Connect, Interact and Learn from Week 9 of CCK11 and during it was introduced to Schoology is a social network-stroke-learning management system for education that is strongly influenced by Facebook and allows any individual or institution to set up a social network for teaching and learning. It’s free for the moment and worth a look.

Incidentally, I also attended (part of) the inaugural meeting of the ELESIG Gwella group at which lecture capture was discussed. The recording of the CCK11 MOOC Live Sessions is another exemplar of how this might work with larger groups. George Siemens and Stephen Downes use Eluminate to facilitate and record these sessions and provide both Just-In-Time and Just on Time meetings and discussions that can be viewed by anyone who has the link. The live sessions take place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5.00 pm UK time (careful US have gone to Daylight saving time already so it might be 16.00 pm this week) and anyone can attend. Net Pedagogy is on the menu this week.

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do ?

Teaching and research can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable bedfellows, especially at institutions who pride themselves on their research. Learning and teaching can be viewed rather as the poor relation – albeit one that lives in the same house, has its name on the deeds and pays most of the mortgage.

The idea then of a public / private, teaching / research split (via Tony Bates and our Canadian source) is possibly one which could find considerable support in certain academic circles before any lobbying has been done.

Some private teaching companies are already working their way onto campuses (admittedly working with subsets of the student body – having stumped up for the privilege) and can sometimes be seen to have better facilities than the rest of their still public counterparts. Shining examples of how well the private sector can perform.

Interesting / depressing times ahead …

Social media: A guide for researchers

“Social media is an important technological trend that has big implications for how researchers (and people in general) communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a huge amount to gain from engaging with social media in various aspects of their work. This guide has been produced by the International Centre for Guidance Studies, and aims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available”

Not only is it a very useful guide but it features our very own Chris Jobling, whose Fresh and Crispy blog is listed as an example of academic research blogs in the Links and resources section

Thanks to Katrina Dalziel @dalziel1 for the highlighting the guide

You can find the full guide here –

Change the classroom, change the learning!

Just seen this from from Chris Jobling @cpjobling

Looks quite like PC Room 1 in the Library. I agree with Chris that it would be great for small classes but how could we make it work with larger ones. Perhaps the need is for much more flexible learning spaces and not traditional large theatres? Are those designing the second campus thinking along these lines?

What about using videoed lectures delivered though the VLE with some accompanying activities? The lectures could be of excellent and engaging staff here or by using things like this MIT OCW, as referred to in a previous post. There could be a set time for the initial delivery, so that they could be some synchronous interaction though chat, tweet etc but the lecture could also be accessed later with some asynchronous activity. Following the lecture there could be a number of breakout groups run in similar lines to the video, with the students working in groups to solve problems related to the lecture and a member of staff setting up the activities and monitoring the groups. Student get the contact hours they want but with high quality delivery. No more large lecture, no more large and expensive lecture theatres, no more boring lectures and no more bored students and staff. Or maybe I’m just woefully niaive?

Perhaps I am but what if private companies think along these lines and offer degrees this way in half the time we do. They could charge more per year but less overall for a degree. How will that affect us in the new market driven climate? Shouldn’t we get in there first?