Geo-blogging and Placed Based Learning

Card Type: Technology
Difficulty: Advanced
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Description:

Geo-blogging lets you geolocate a piece of writing or media to an exact point on a map providing an additional dimension to any journaling or blogging assignment. A global map lets viewers navigate the collected geotagged blog content via markers on a map.

Purpose:

  • Geo-blogging works as a natural companion to place-based learning assignments grounded in exploring the unique history, geology, culture, etc., of a place.
  • Is a good fit for study abroad as well as regional field trip based activities.
  • Aggregation of student blogs to a central course site makes the work findable, and to a degree encourages accountability while building community among learners and potentially beyond to networked domain experts.
  • Creating a global map of posts to view ‘Where in the World’ all of this learning is taking place connects the work and enables students to see the bigger picture.

Procedure:

  • Partner with your campus IT support to learn which geo-blogging technologies are available on your campus.  
  • Have students create an individual travel/academic journal (blog). Provide guidelines for the structure and kind of content expected but ultimately this site belongs to the student; it is a personalized space for them to document their work. Review the journaling and blogging card and Amy Greene’s “Geoblogging and Place-Based Learning” for additional information on setting up your assignment.
  • Students geolocate each piece of writing or media to connect it to the place of study. Typically this is done within a blog post by dropping a pin on a map via a geo-blogging plugin.
  • Aggregate student journals to a single class blog to connect the work and create a global map to view all posts and the geolocations.

Considerations:  

  • It’s often best to have students create the site with support before they travel. Build in practice by journaling about the preparations necessary to undertake the trip.
  • Encourage the use of mobile devices to write, capture media and post to web-based journals the sights, sounds and experiences of their travels and study.
  • Encourage the use of a consistent set of categories to help structure the writing and assignment expectations. This can also work to create consistency across all student work.
  • If the faculty is traveling as well, create your own journal and set a good example of the kind of work you are looking for from your students.
  • If student content is publicly viewable privacy issues need to be considered.

 Level: Advanced

 Resources:  

“Geotagging.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 June 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotagging#Geoblogging>.

Greene, Amy. “Geoblogging and Place-Based Learning.” Blog. The Evergreen State College, 04 Nov. 2015. Web. 30 June 2016. <http://blogs.evergreen.edu/amygreene/blog/2015/11/04/geoblogging-and-place-based-learning/>.

Sly, Caroline. “Teaching Strategies.” Center for Ecoliteracy. Center for Ecoliteracy, 2016. Web. 30 June 2016. <http://www.ecoliteracy.org/article/teaching-strategies>.

 

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