A. Instruciton - 6.7
B. Design - 8.3
C. Engagement - 8.7
PaleoEarth: A Key App for Teaching about Land Masses
Summary : See the earth's movement may have never been easier!
PaleoEarth provides users with a global perspective of how the earth’s land masses have moved over time. After launching the app, users are presented with a map of the globe that they can control by dragging their finger across it. As they do, users are able to view the different land masses. At the bottom of the screen, the app provides users a timeline that they can control by dragging the white circle from one end of the timeline to the other. As they manipulate the timeline, users will see the land masses move across the globe.
In addition, the name of the time period users selected appears on the top right of the timeline, and as users adjust the time period, the name automatically updates. If users tap the time period’s name, they can read a brief description of it. Users can then adjust additional features to learn more about the time periods and the changes that the earth was experiencing during them.
To begin, users can tap the “I” to view the different a key that explains the meaning of the symbols and functionalities of the tools included in the app. Users can then tap the “Wrench” icon to turn on and off icons, such as labels for of the earth’s different regions and where asteroids have impacted the earth. Users will then see the options they activated on the globe. The “Graph” icon shows the temperature and CO2 levels for the time period selected by the user. The “Finger” icon allows users to choose a country, and as users adjust the timeline, the app will show where that country’s land mass has traveled over time.
Instructional Ideas for PaleoEarth
- When teaching Tectonic Plate Theory and/or Continental Drift Divide, teachers can have students explore this app, so they can see the land masses move. In this way, the app will provide a visual, interactive tool teachers can use to support student understanding of these theories as they read about them.
- Teachers can have students select a country and then follow it as it moves across the globe when the timeline is adjusted. After students reach modern day on the timeline, teachers can have students predict where the country’s land mass will be in another 100,000 years, 500,000 years, and 1,000,000 years. In addition, teachers can require students to write a justification that explains why they made their prediction.
- Teachers can have students turn on the asteroid impact feature on this app and manipulate the globe to see where the earth has been hit by the asteroid. Based on their observations, teachers can have their students explain if they think the asteroids strike the earth in a random way or if there is a pattern. Students will have to base their explanation on their observation.
- As part of a research project, teachers can assign students different time periods to study, such as the Early Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Pennsylvanian periods. Students then can use a variety of apps to locate information about the time period they were assigned. This app can provide a visual aid for the time period, and students can use other apps such as World Factbook and Encyclopedia Britannica Lite to gather additional information.
Screenshots of PaleoEarth
Ratings of PaleoEarth
|A2. 21st Century Skills|
|A3. Conn. to Future Learning|
|A4. Value of Errors|
|A5. Feedback to Teacher|
|A6. Level of Material|
|A7. Cooperative Learning|
|A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.|
|B1. Ability to Save Progress|
|B2. Platform Integration|
|B3. Screen Design|
|B4. Ease of Use|
|B6. Goal Orientation|
|B7. Information Presentation|
|B8. Media Integration|
|B9. Cultural Sensitivity|
|C1. Learner Control|
Please Note: No stars indicate that the dimension is not applicable