It is close to the end of summer in the northern hemisphere. Many kids are heading back to school after a summer break. For those of you who are educators and have thought, or heard, that Google Earth would make a good tool for geography lessons – let me suggest you look closer. Google Earth (GE) is not only a great tool for geography – it is a tool for tying all kinds of information to location. When you first load GE you have a wealth of information available at your fingertips. Thousands of aerial and satellite photos, dozens of layers of information: city names, country borders, airport locations, road maps, National Geographic content, volcanoes, and more. Since Google Earth is an intuitive and fun tool, I believe you could use it as a visualization and educational tool for almost any subject. Once students prepare their own content, GE can be used to present their work – or even share their work with the world.
Below you will find a sample of possible useful content for Google Earth in a variety of subjects such as geography, literature, science, history, and more. Basically, any information which can be tied to a location on Earth can be illustrated, and made interesting, using GE. Juicy Geography is a web site, by Noel Jenkins in the UK, designed to help teachers learn more about tools like GE for the classroom and suggests possible lessons. Also, check out a summary of educational uses for Google Maps by GoogleMapsMania.
Google Earth is a powerful visual tool for visualizing and presenting information tied to location. It can also be used as a tool for students to study or even prepare their own presentations. If I were an educator I would use it for many topics. You can use the “Search” or “Categories” on Google Earth Blog to find more information. Or, you can go to the Google Earth Community to look for materials as well. Here are just a sample of some of the material available organized by subject:
- Places quoted in Shakespeare
- Travels of Odysseus
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- Astronomy: Meteor Craters, Solar Eclipses, Ice Flows, global temperatures
- Geology: lava flows, volcanoes, earthquakes
- Biology: Avian Flu, Chimpanzees, Ants
- Environment: Glacier melt, satellite data
- Weather: Weather tools, lightning data from NASA, more weather stories
- Lewis and Clark Expidition
- Shackleton Expedition
- Six Wives of Henry VIII
- 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
How about basic geography information about countries of the world? Try the CIA World Factbook for GE (more details).
About Frank Taylor
Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.
Educational yes, but fun too!
thanks google earth ,i loved the places quoted in shakespeare, i’d been stuying liberal art at that time, it helped me become more aware and sensitive to the literature i’d researched.
I’m a pre-service teacher at EWU, and I used Google Earth for my very first unit that I taught in the classroom. The second graders were in awe, and completely engaged! I will definitely be using some of the suggested lesson plans from this site in the future! Thanks!
I am a teacher in reputed university.Google Earth is nice tool.I enjoy to use.I will refer it to my student.Thanks to share
Francis García says
I am planning to use GE in Primary classrooms, for English and Cono (Geography and History). Do you know of any school proyects that incorporate GE. I would appreciate if you let me know
Francis García says
I am planning to use GE in Primary classrooms, for English and Cono (Geography and History). Do you know of any school proyects that incorporate GE? I would appreciate if you let me know
custom presentation folders says
With the 2006/2007 school year nearly upon us across the northern hemisphere educators everywhere are getting their classrooms ready and fine tuning curriculum. Google Maps (and mashups) are free, interactive educational tools that allow students to easily learn more about the world they live in.