It’s the first full week of a new school year and I’ve been getting my head back in to planning. I’ve also started to get back to my roots. I’m a bit of a nerd. I can’t deny it and, to be honest, I’m proud of it (most of the time). I used to find ways to use tech to ‘wow’ children but recently it just became practical thing to solve a problem. Useful but not very ‘wow’.
Geography came up and with objectives like ‘Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical features of a region of the UK, a European Country and North or South America’ I saw an opportunity.
3D flyovers appeared in the Apple Maps app in 2013 but it was pretty limited on cities so I didn’t really take it seriously. Apple have really improved their maps over that time and, in my view, are a pretty good alternative to Google maps.
The idea is simple and the set up just as simple. First I wanted to get them looking at the cities seeing if they could find he human and physical features using a birds eye satellite image of the city. I gave groups screen shots of 8 cities to study and group together similarities and differences. They were then given labels with the city names on so that they could try and identify the cities from previous knowledge (que quiz show host voice and best use of elongated silences to create suspense). Then came my opportunity to ‘wow’ I told them I was going to take them to each city and give them a tour. Load Maps on your device or Mac and search for the city and hear the audible groan. Then click on the (incredibly subtle and easy to miss) button at the bottom of the map labelled ‘3D flyover tour – Start’ or on iOS tap on the pin that appears when you search and choose ‘Flyover Tour’.