Teachers can adopt Google Earth in the classroom for lesson planning, such as teaching students geographical themes (location, culture, characteristics, human interaction, and movement).
Students can use Google Earth to explore topics like the progress of human civilization, the growth of cities, the impact of civilization on the natural environment, and the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
What is Google Earth?
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe.
Use of Google Earth for students:
- Explore the animal kingdom and endangered species with the National Geographic layer and other content.
- Create annotated place markers indicating location of school and points of interest in their town such as the local fire and police stations, the city library, local parks, and museums.
- Study climate change and the effects of global warming.
- Create tours of their school or community.
- Track earthquakes in real-time.
Use of Google Earth for Teaching:
- Teachers can use Google Earth demos about geography beyond the static map, or use different Google Earth layers to study transportation, demographics, economics, and in specific local or exotic contexts.
- Set the scene for geography, history, literature, astronomy and other lessons.Easy Involve students in pro-active engagement in a wide-range of Google Outreach projects.
- Adapt traditionally abstract lessons to the “real-world” by having students interact with virtual “real-time” data such as weather, earthquakes, elephants migrations, etc.
What teachers say about use of Google Earth in schools?
"We are using [Google Earth] to study geography, literature and culture in grades 2-8 as both a research tool and a creation tool. The advanced layers, the earth, sky, sea and flight features are being used by many. Now that we've used it, we can't live without it!" says 'Elementary and Middle School Administrator'
"Google Earth has been used in our GIS and Cartography labs for years. It has been a tremendous help in educating our students and the public in our outreach efforts to make geospatial technologies available to the community." says 'University GIS Associate Professor'
* Classroom resources: popular Google Earth Features and how they can be helpful in the classroom
* Free Advanced Google Earth training for teachers