The Earth at your Fingertips

When I taught geometry for the first time two years ago, I used some screenshots of Google maps to help my students visualize the angles formed when a pair of lines are cut by a transversal.  After a year on the geometry bench, I’m back in the game this year with a completely new set of resources that calls for a new playbook.

Here’s what we did in class today:

1)  At the board, I did a quick introduction to the vocabulary we’ll be working with:  transversal, the names for the different pairs of angles formed, etc.

2)  Then, I had everyone open up Google Earth on their iPads and we visited the area around our school (it’s so fun to fly in from out of space) and hunted for pairs of lines and transversals.  Once we found some, we practiced naming different pairs of angles formed.

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3)  Finally, students found their houses and searched for examples of pairs of lines and transversals nearby.  One by one, each student mirrored their iPad using my Apple TV, ed us their house (I think most people were more excited by this part…) and their example.

I think the really good part of this activity was the fact that it wasn’t just me using Google Earth, which is what would have had to happen if we weren’t in a 1:1 environment.  Everyone had the chance to look for their own example which was more engaging, and the class got to see more examples and practice the new vocabulary in many different contexts.

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