“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” — Mark Twain
One of the greatest affordances of today’s technology is that it allows us to break the barrier of space and time. Students can stand in front of many important buildings without ever leaving the classroom. This possibility provides students with a great opportunity to experience the journeys that their favorite characters took.
With this idea in mind, veteran educator Jerome Burg, created Google Lit Trip, a project where educators create virtual field trips for books. Giving teachers everywhere tools that can enhance the experience of reading a book for their students.
The website has many resources for language arts teachers and even provides tutorials for you to create your own Lit Trips with your students. To get started with GLT follow these steps:
- Register here http://goo.gl/QUT3yn
- Install Google Earth in your computer. Phones and tablets are not the best option.
- Browse the list of available trips at the library http://goo.gl/To8iya
- Request a Lit Trip by filling out the form here http://goo.gl/Ei1JAn . They will send you the link to the file containing the trip.
Tech Infusion (https://goo.gl/UATkd9 ) has a pretty good article on GLT with a brief description as well as step by step instructions to create your trip and some ideas of use.
Another interesting feature of the project is that you can always submit your creations so that other educators around the world can benefit from it. Your students can also contribute to the library with the GLT that they create in your class.
In an article for Edutopia with GLT creator we are told that “Combining Google Earth with literature study allows teachers to come up with activities that are highly creative for their students. Instead of having students use this powerful tool just to make a plot summary, Burg suggests nudging them toward activities that will generate higher-order questions and more analytical thinking. Using the lit trip for The Grapes of Wrath, for example, a teacher could set the stage for a classroom discussion about current immigration issues. That would encourage students to connect the book to issues affecting their own lives.”