Make use of web-based file sharing to anchor lessons on “host” cultural heritage! This exercise encourages students to identify examples of built, natural and intangible heritage that are particularly meaningful to their host community. Students are then required to capture this heritage with digital photography, to research its meaning and to upload their photos and captions to Panoramio. In doing so, students learn to be more careful and astute observers and engage in conscientious reflection of their learning.
1. Introduction. Before departure, use several examples to introduce students to built, natural, and intangible heritage and discuss how each has meanings within the local culture. Use Panoramio to demonstrate geolocation-oriented photo sharing. Prepare sample photos and captions. Create a content or site-specific thread for students to link their photographs.
2. Identifying and Deconstructing Heritage. While abroad, students should identify and photograph examples of the three types of heritage. Their goal is to understand the meaning these sites have for those in the host culture. To do this, they may need to speak with local people, consult historical references, read travel guides and brochures, etc.
3. Global Panoramio. Students must register for a Panoramio account and upload 2-3 photos taken while abroad of each of three types of heritage. Students should add a detailed caption to each photo in which they carefully explain its meanings and importance of the site to the host culture. Also, they should register their photos in Google Maps and Google Earth.
4. Optional: Consider hosting an end of course Global Panoramio Expo, in which students present their photos to each other and invited guests. This would allow students the opportunity to share their learning with others and thus, broaden the reach of the course.
5. Etiquette. Remind students to be respectful of the host community by asking permission before taking photos and when asking questions about the local culture and heritage. Similar principles apply when posting photos and captions to Panoramio.
The assignment could be worth up to 20% of the overall course grade. Students should not be graded on their photography skills. Rather, the grade should be based on their ability to represent and discuss the local meaning of selected cultural heritage sites. Accurate mapping of the photos in Google Earth and Google Maps is also important. Students may work individually or in pairs to complete this assignment.
20-30 minutes to explain assignment (pre-departure)