How I Use It
Students in my Spanish class never had much exposure to the sites in Spain. So, they were to look at Barcelona and Madrid, and based on what they saw in the app, decide which city seems more interesting to them. At first, I spent a lot o time marking sites in both cities as "favorites". All students signed in on the same account that I created. Once the lesson began, however, it was apparent that instead of requiring students to look at the favorites I had marked, they needed to just explore the "cards" themselves.
The photos served as a great tool to helping my students visualize what Barcelona and Madrid look like. It was better for exploration purposes than Google Earth because the "cards" make it very easy to select sites and learn about them. I love that this app is international. It makes it much more relevant for my purposes. I also like that many cards had information in the target language. It was nice authentic language practice for my students.
I wrote above that I was initially marking "favorite" places in advance of the lesson. Google Earth tours remain my tool of choice if I am setting a direct path with specific stops for my students.
I had planned on allowing students to use this app for about five minutes; I thought they would get bored. The students proved me wrong, however. They were engrossed in what they were finding out.
This activity lent itself to an overall feel of a city. As I mentioned, it was intended to be a very short activity. If I wanted to students to have a deeper learning, I definitely would have needed to integrate more structure, requiring students to write about or track specific findings.
While I was skeptical of how this would differ from or offer anything better than Google Earth, I now see some useful applications of it in my classroom. I could certainly use it if I wanted students to create a vacation itinerary as well as for general exploration of a certain neighborhood or city. I noticed that some of my students even began to toggle between street view and the default map, demonstrating their curiosity. I won't count this one out!