Community mapping by the team

View Recycling around London Fields in a larger map

The team spent today making this amazing map of recycling points around the Digital Explorer office. From having never mapped before to creating a map that helps the community. Nice work! Well done all.

Rahaf’s big idea for recycling

Why did I win?
So I made a website about recycling, I uploaded some news about recycling, and how can we recycle in a fun and easy way so kids will also love recycling, So you can check out the website

Why did I choose recycling?
Recycling isn’t a big thing in Saudi Arabia, so I would like to raise awareness, and recycling saves energy and helps protect our environment and there is a real global problem with too much waste being produced by human beings.

How can we help Rahaf bring recycling to young people in Saudi Arabia?

Learning from Cisco

Digital Explorer website gets the Cisco treatment using their green screen video conferencing technology #verycool

What a first full day of the MCY Innovate 2012 expedition! We went to visit Cisco to find out what is behind the amazing growth of this company over the past 28 years, from a married couple at Stanford University, to a company employing 65,000 people across 165 countries.

The theme was innovation and the values that has kept Cisco at the forefront of innovation for nearly three decades. We were lucky to have a range of talks and demonstrations. What really struck me was the emphasis that Cisco places on talent, their people, as well as technology.

Innovation is not just coming up with a new idea or solution, it’s coming up with something new that adds value for customers or employees and also is a commercial success. Some of the facts were quite amazing. During 2008,there were as many connected devices as people on the planet and the number of devices is accelerating away.

The average person in developed economies uses 6.4 devices a day – home phone, work phone, mobile, laptop, work computer and potentially a tablet, as well as thinking about connected devices such as GPS in cars and entertainment devices such as TVs.

The whole team came away with an understanding of how systems and products can be used in a collaborative way, so that communication using voice, data and video links can be done in a seamless way. With some of the latest video conferencing technology, participants have almost felt that they were in the same room. Technology continues to break down barriers and bring people closer.

I was particularly interested in their rugged kit, designed for use by the military and on oil rigs, but I can see great potential in using the kit to live broadcast to classrooms from remote locations. Onwards and upwards with our exploration of what makes a great innovator.

EU fishing fleet map

In the middle of making a series of resources on sustainable fisheries for the science and geography classroom and thought that I might have a play again with Ricardo Sgrillo’s excellent free Gooogle Earth tool, GE Graph.

You can easily make your own maps, using world border datasets, such as this one created by Valery35.

Download the Google Earth file, and have a play in your classroom.

Google Earth and the iPad

Lagging behind the curve slightly, we have recently been playing with Google Earth on the new Digital Explorer iPad and it’s a great tool and fun to use.

Of course, some things don’t work. Most of the nice styling that we put into the description balloons gets wiped and some of the formatting goes. YouTube videos that are formatted for HTML5 work but if they’re old and flash-based, then they don’t. We haven’t been able to get screen overlays to work either.

Quick note… if you are looking to download kml files from the web, then you need to do this using the Safari browser rather than any other browser you have installed e.g. Chrome. You’ll then be given the option to open the kml file in Google Earth.

We’ll be looking to develop desktop and mobile/tablet versions of our new sets of Google Earth resources for the coming academic year and hope to find time to spruce up some of the old ones as well.

School Grounds Projects using Google tools

If you want to do this for your own school all the resources are below:

Download manual (pdf, 2.6MB)
Download practice kmz file (kmz, 0.6MB)
Download lesson plans, slideshows, etc (zip, 21.4MB)

Google Geo Teacher Institute Dublin

Here are my slides for the presentation in Dublin this morning and the kmz file is downloadable as well!

Sea level rise and Google Earth / Maps

A great day with Priory School yesterday, examining the issue of sea level rise  in the Portsmouth area. We trialled a number of hands-on sessions, which were great fun and will write about these when we have media releases completed to use the photos of students working on the beach.

For now, here are some ideas that were jogged by looking at how ipads might be used to inform a walking tour of a coastal area.

The image below is of a map overlay created in Google Earth, showing the flood cells and sub-cells delineated by the council. Image overlays are fairly easy to create.

The Google Earth file was then saved and uploaded online. Pasting the url of the online file into the search box of Google Maps, allows you to see it as above. Note that you can use Google Maps in Earth mode so that 3D buildings show up and you can tilt the map.

We also created some polygons in Google Earth, again an easy thing to do. The different polygons were given colours and made opaque so that you could see the layers and the underlying imagery. You can see the key to the left below as well.

The ordnance datum in Google Earth and the altitude of the different layers is not quite nuanced enough to show localised flooding predictions on a 25, 50, 100 year timeline and looking to finesse these techniques before sharing more fully, but hope you get the idea.

Google Geo Teachers Institutes announced for London and Dublin, June 2012

Great news that the Google Geo Teachers Institute will be coming to England and Ireland this summer. The two day professional development events are free and are designed to help teachers get the most out of Google’s suite of Geo tools including Google Earth, Google Maps and SketchUp.

Dates for the events are June 13-14 in Dublin and June 20-21 in London. Both events will be held at the Google offices in those cities.

Teachers can apply online (closing date for applications is 30 April) and find out more in the recent Google Lat Long blog post.

At Digital Explorer, we’ve loved using Google Earth on our expeditions from the Antarctic to Morocco. Also have a look at our blog post 40+ ideas on using Google Earth and Maps in the classroom and our range of manuals to support the use of Google Earth and Maps in the classroom and beyond.

Look forward to seeing you at the events this summer.

Views on current ICT in education debate

Hurray for the government: a new week, a new idea about education. Computing, ICT, digital literacy, call it what you will, is the flavour of the week and Michael Gove is due to make a speech on the subject on Wednesday. I am guessing that the three main themes of this will be that: one there needs to be more rigour in the teaching of computer skills; two that this is vital for the UK’s future economic competitiveness; and three that all schools should teach this irrespective of how ‘free’ from Local Authority control they are.

It’s not that I am necessarily against the teaching of computing in schools. Running an organisation called Digital Explorer, it would be pretty contrary if I were. However, statements such as Ed Vaizey’s comment that knowing how a computer works should be “on a par with a knowledge of the arts and humanities” don’t really help. (more…)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.