Kelli Wakefield, Mesa Community College

How do you utilize technological tools (Google Earth, topical databases, blogging, etc.) in your online courses?

Since I teach a lab online, I use Google Earth for many of the lab assignments. I specifically chose this tool because it is free for me and the students, the robustness of the tools within the program, the availability of maps and files online, and for the historical imagery. Since students within the course are almost exclusively non-majors, I feel that part of my job is to give the access to tools that can be used in their "normal" life after the course is over.

I think having a single platform for students is important for consistency between weeks and assignments. So they are able to to assignments that range from different types of maps to locations and depths of earthquakes and from urban spread into geologically hazardous locations over time to before-and-after views of the Japanese tsunami, all using the same program and tools. This way they are better able to focus on the content rather than learning different technology.