Technology Tools for the Classroom: Google Earth
For over 40 years Earth Day has been celebrated annually around the globe. On April 22, classrooms across the nation will take a moment to discuss natural environments, sustainability, global warming and ways to preserve our planet. With Earth Day on the forefront of many educators’ minds, we thought it only fitting to discuss the benefits of using Google Earth in the classroom! With this technology tool, teachers can add interactive elements to almost any subject.
Often times educators overlook the versatility of Google Earth. Upon further investigation however teachers realize that Google Earth can be great resource for social studies, science, math, art and literature! After some serious research, we’ve done our best to provide a small overview of how Google Earth can be an invaluable technology tool in classrooms everywhere.
- Google Earth Across Curriculum: If researched, it becomes abundantly clear that Google Earth is a tool that does much more than pinpoint a location somewhere on the planet. The capabilities of Google Earth and application abilities for education are vast! These sources detail how Google Earth can be integrated into curriculum.
- Google Earth Blog: Although Google Earth Blog is not officially affiliated with Google, it continually gives readers insight, updates, ideas, and news about Google Earth! At Google Earth Blog educators can find amazing Google Earth files and network links that can be downloaded right off the site. Google Earth Blog also highlights a variety of topics that coincide with school curriculum such as, Civil War related projects
- The Prado in Google Earth: Did you know Google Earth allows users to navigate through the artworks at Spain’s Prado museum? Get close enough to examine the brushstrokes of Rembrandt or the varnish of Velasquez! Zoom in and browse the masterpieces in ultra high resolution. Your students will experience art in a bigger & better way!
- Google Lit Trips: Google Lit Trips is a website dedicated to placing story lines into a Google Earth tour. With something for every grade level K-12, Google Lit Trips is a great way to provide geographic context that coincides with stories students are reading. Students can also create a Google Lit Trip of their own to gain a better understanding of a storyline or showcase their knowledge.
- Google Earth History Tours: Historical imagery in Google Earth is a feature that has endless possibilities for history teachers! Teachers can take advantage of Google Earth 6 and other Google Earth tools to provide geographic context to historical events. The latest version of Google Earth features street view imagery and makes finding historical imagery easier! With Google Earth, teachers can take classes on history tours that will engage students and make the past an interactive experience.
Although we’ve only highlighted five topics, it’s obvious that Google Earth could positively impact classroom curriculum. Google Earth is a tool that will captivate students, enhance lesson plans, and breathe life into complex subjects. With Google Earth, your classroom can celebrate Earth Day all year long!
How do you use Google Earth in the classroom?