Teaching with Geospatial Technology

Thursday 1:30pm-4:00pm REC Center Lower Gym Meeting Room
Mini Workshop


Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
Carol Simpson, Old Dominion University

At this BYOD (bring your own device) workshop, participants will obtain hand-on experience with innovative hardware and software designed to enhance geoscience education and undergraduate research. Topics will include Google Maps and Google Earth-based games and mapping challenges, creating your own Photo Spheres and 4D "digital Viewmaster" field trips, augmenting real field trips with digital content delivery at the outcrop, optimizing trips to your local digital planetarium, automated assessment, and teaching geospatial concepts in both large and small on-line and on-site classes.


We will present ways to use virtual globes such as Google Earth and other digital software and hardware to create immersive learning experiences that are aimed at two student populations: (i) students attending in-person field trips who want to prepare beforehand or reinforce afterwards, and (ii) students who, because of physical or social limitations, are unable to partake in traditional geoscience courses. The ultimate goal is to greatly expand and diversify the geo student population and enrich the learning experience whilst retaining the best of transition geoscience teaching.

Note: Some of the resources presented in this mini-workshop were created collaboratively with members of the GEODE project: http://geode.net/about-us. Special thanks to Mladen Dordevic, Paul Karabinos, Barb Tewksbury, and Steve Whitmeyer.


Before you arrive: BYOD (bring your own device). Laptops are preferable, tablets will work except for some limitations. Smartphones are good for specific items. You will need a Firefox or Safari web browser. Internet Explorer and Chrome will NOT work for many demos.

Install the Google Earth web browser plugin: https://www.google.com/earth/explore/products/plugin.html. Yes we know it's deprecated and will let you know if a replacement it released by Google.

Download the Google Earth Pro desktop application (the Pro version is now free): earth.google.com

1:30 Welcome and SUYOD (set up your own device).

1:40 EarthQuiz: You can try this as a guest: www.EarthQuiz.net. You are transported to a random geological site in Street View. Examine the outcrop, landscape, or seascape and answer the multiple choice question. At the workshop, you will be given instructor access and will learn how to create and manage course modules. If you get through this ahead of the peloton, you can test-drive our more advanced Structural Geology Mapping Challenge.

2:00 Make Your Own 4D split-screen Field Trips: You will learn how to make a 4D ViewMaster-style video. Yes, we're talking about that plastic toy you had 35 years ago! However ViewMaster has gone digital thanks to Google Cardboard. And here's a secret: Cardboard works with iPhones as well as Android–you can even view digital split-screen with those old stereoscopes that are gathering dust in many geology departments.

2:20 Plate Euler Pole Finder and Tectonic Reconstruction: This is a demonstration of how Google Earth can be used for large scale plate tectonic analyses and paleo-plate reconstructions.

3:00 FreshAiR: We will step outside for some fresh air and some FreshAiR! The caps stand for Augmented Reality. AR apps overlay digital data on top of RR (real reality). Great for context-aware mobile learning and asynchronous field trips in distance education courses.

3:30 Photo Spheres and 123D Catch specimens: While we're outside, we'll demo how to make your own and discuss how to incorporate in your courses.

3:50 Concluding Discussion: How to get the most out of your local digital planetarium...Digital course management for large classes..Smart glasses for accessibility, and the inverse MOOC concept (small classes with massive numbers of instructors). And anything else you want to discuss as we approach the plenary session!