If Jason and the Argonauts had smartphones when they were seeking the Golden Fleece, would they have used Google Maps to find it? It may have saved them a lot of time.
Last year, I was talking to some students about a subject we have at my school called ‘Argo’. They were doing amazing things in this subject which is predicated on the concept of a learning journey, but I couldn’t help but be saddened by their lack of knowledge about the very tale that gave the subject its name.
Nature abhors a vacuum and so do I, so I’ve endeavoured to fix this issue. I first pondered how to proceed. Many adolescents enjoy stories, but the tale of the Argo is not simply a case of a short boat ride to Colchis and back. I felt our young scholars needed to see the geography of the journey to fully appreciate its audacity. The students required a cartographical context. Even though this tale from antiquity is mythological, it is set in a world that resembles our own and I felt I could use this.
Once a piece of standalone software, Google Earth is now browser-based and allows users to create routes with accompanying annotations and resources. It’s quite amazing, but prone to crashing, something I discovered to the detriment of several hours’ worth of work. I ended up creating three presentations to cover Jason’s odyssey. Once a KML file (the file type for Google Earth projects) gets above 100MB, there’s a chance it will refuse to open.
My presentation is ready to go. I have also created a rough video as a Plan B. Hopefully, I won’t need it!