One of my favorite things to do when I am bored or in the mood to procrastinate is to go on this special corner of Google Maps and explore the new content that it’s periodically uploaded there. Right now on this branch of Google Street View there are several cities, countries and regions of the world you can experience as if you were physically there, but with an advantage to compensate for the fact you are not: each image offers a little history or trivia about the place you are currently “visiting”. This website reminds me of that video we watched in which the guy was wearing his “life enhancing glasses” that gave him all the information he wanted as he went by his day.
As I mentioned, there are several places you can explore in this website, and each panoramic picture will offer you some information and a link in case you are interested in learning more about each location. One of my favorite places to “visit” are the Galapagos Islands. I first learned about being able to visit there through Google last year in a Biology class. I think my professor wanted us to be able to experience the islands in a similar way that Darwin did, which was a great way to enhance our learning experience and make us more engaged in the class – very similar to what Nelson proposes in Dream Machines. I love the opportunity that Google provides for us to make boring paragraphs in a textbook real, in a dynamic way. There are videos about the labs and the animals Darwin studied, panoramic views of the islands, and you can even swim with the sea lions!
What attracts me the most about this website, and what I wish I could replicate in my own Inquiry Project (if only I had the skills, which I don’t), is that you could lose yourself for hours there without even noticing – and most importantly, while LEARNING. Sure, we can all blow several hours online no problem, but how much do you really learn when you get to the end of your ex’s Instagram feed? I also love how each page offers you just the right amount of information to 1) teach you something, 2) not bore you, and 3) give you room to research more if you so wish. After all, as Nelson writes, what’s better than encouraging people to learn for and by themselves?
Now, as for an interesting writing voice I’d like to emulate, I had a hard time finding someone because I don’t read any blogs regularly. However, I like to read J.K. Rowling’s tweets because she has great sense of humor, but not in an obvious way. She’s one of those people who can probably tell a joke with a straight face and still make everyone laugh (at least that’s how I picture her saying what she tweets). I also love how sarcastic she is, without being crass or rude. Also, I love how she’s always able to get her point across in a single tweet. I guess what I admire the most about her voice is its ability to convey meaning and humor in just words, without emojis, gifs, pictures, etc. I would love to be able to write as well as her, but for now I am happy to read anything and everything she writes.
I’m editing this post to add a few tweets by J.K. that I love: