I have used Google Earth a few times in some eLearning packages I’ve put together, mainly to demonstrate location or distance, but what else is it useful for? Well, that all depends on what age of student you have, and what you want them to achieve in the activity.
I came across this excellent list of uses for Google Earth in Education, and a great list of 50 Ideas for the Classroom.
The post starts by saying:
“Google Earth has opened up potential for students in classrooms around the globe with its bird’s-eye view of the world. Whether you are a veteran teacher looking for new ways to teach old topics or you are a still an education student getting ready to make your debut in the classroom, these exciting ways to use Google Earth are sure to infuse your lessons with plenty of punch.”
I’ll not replicate the article here, so you’ll have to click the link above for the full list (split into the different age ranges of students) but here are a few choice activities for the different ages, from Primary to higher education;
- Using the Ruler Tool to Measure in Google Earth - How about this one, it shows the teacher how to get the children to measure distances in Google Earth.
- Google Earth Ocean - This allows students to explore the oceans and all that is within and around them.
- Weather and Storm Tracking Tools in Google Earth - Use these tools to study weather and even track storms.
- All Quiet on the Western Front – World War One battlefields; read the eBook, then study the locations.
If your new to Google Earth and want to know more, then you ought to read a few websites that are good at introducing the application and it’s uses. A few to start you off are;
Of course you’ll need to have Google Earth installed first – it’s free and available here. Another really good tool to use is the browser plugin - Google Earth API – which lets you “embed Google Earth, a true 3D digital globe, into your web pages. Using the API you can draw markers and lines, drape images over the terrain, add 3D models, or load KML files, allowing you to build sophisticated 3D map applications.”
If you’ve used Google Earth yourself and would like to share your experience, and even the activity you used it in, then please leave a comment.