11 July 2010

Google Search Stories and the classroom

Last week, a little late to the game, I discovered Google's Search Stories. In a nutshell, Search Stories allows you to list seven search terms, pick whether you want the search to show links, images, maps, or other results, choose music, click a button and get a video. It's very cool. Here's one I did for the Five Themes of Geography:

How could you use this in the geography classroom?
  1. If studying the 5 Themes, have students find examples (other than these) of each of the themes. Their first and last search terms could be the same as the sample video.
  2. Videos could show examples of geographic terms such a bay, peninsula or mountain.
  3. For regional studies, students could focus on physical features or landmarks within a region and create videos.
  4. Furthermore, students could create a Search Story for specific countries within a region.
  5. If you're working on the Geography Awareness Week theme Freshwater, videos could feature examples of freshwater stores around the world as well as illustrations of problems facing most of the world in getting access to  freshwater.
The downside to Search Stories is that it's on YouTube, which means that for many of us, it won't be available at school. Of course, students with computer access at home could do the assignment there. Perhaps the local public library has convenient  hours for students to work. Despite difficulties, Search Stories could have great application in the classroom.

I am sure you can think of many other ways to use this nifty tool in the classroom. What ideas to you have? Share them below.