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Real World Math Problems – Google Earth

October 1, 2014

As part of the 21st Century Educator role in Sun West, teachers have been exploring videos and articles that illustrate ways in which small changes in teaching practices can lead to increased student engagement, motivation and learning. These educators then post comments and participate in online discussions through a Sun West Google + community.*

After watching Dan Meyer’s inspirational TED talk, Math Class Needs a Makeover, Westberry teacher, Emily Knowles, continued her search into ways to bring authentic, real world experiences in her classroom. Here is what she shared with the group in the Google community:

“In connection with Dan Meyer’s : Math class needs a makeover, I found an article on how to use Google Earth to engage students in Real World Math problems. The article was written by a math teacher, Thomas Petra, who helped to co-create the Real World Math problems website. This website ” is a collection of free math activities for Google Earth designed for students and educators (Grades 5-10). Mathematics is much more than a set  of problems in a textbook.  In the virtual world of Google Earth, concepts and challenges can be presented in a meaningful way that portray the usefulness of the ideas.”

Google Earth image

I found some really good ideas on how to incorporate Math into both the Social and Science curriculum in a meaningful way, and I am excited to try them out during our Math skills period!”

Thanks for sharing this resource with the Sun West team, Emily!

*All teachers are welcome to join the Sun West Google + Community and participate in online discussions about 21st Century Learning. This is the online discussion board where our 21CE teachers will be posting their responses to articles/videos as well as sharing their classroom experiences. It is going to be a great way to keep your toes in the 21st Century Education pool, so to speak 🙂

Getting Involved:
1. Create a Google Account – If you have a personal Google account, create a new one using your Sun West email address. I have two Google accounts – one personal and one professional – to keep my home and work accounts separated. Information for creating a Google account can be found at:
2. Request permission to join the Sun West 21st Century Educator Google Community – Once you have a Google account, you can request permission to join. by clicking on this link.
3. Post an introduction – Under the Welcome tab on the side navigation, please post your introduction. Tell the group about yourself and get to know others by reading through their posts. We have another great team and I am excited about the online discussions and sharing the Google+ community will allow us to have. Building collegiality in such a geographically large Division just got a little bit easier for us!

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