Take a virtual field trip via Google
South African school teachers and their learners can now take virtual field trips to areas of historical and geographical importance, following the launch of the local Google Street View Teachers’ Guide.
All that is needed is an internet connection. This concept entails using the Google Map’s Street View technology to visually explore and navigate a neighbourhood or city through panoramic street-level photographs.
Examples of sites to visit include the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Soweto and Table Mountain in Cape Town.
To use it, go to:
According to Julie Taylor, communications manager of Google South Africa, the technology can also be used to “put together stimulating lesson plans, based on South Africa’s national education curriculum and outlined learning outcomes”.
She explains that the curriculum objectives emphasise the importance of fieldwork and encourage learners to see things with “their own eyes”.
The guide has already been launched in the United Kingdom. Locally, it has been formulated for grades 4 to 7 and focuses on learning outcomes in the Social Sciences and Life Orientation. The focus is on the history of people, places, resources, buildings, school and museums.
Street View cars have special cameras that take photographs as they drive down public roads. Once the photographs have been taken, they go through computer processing to make them ready for use on Google Maps.