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  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


Special Education- Google Earth 349

Page history last edited by Jordan Dierkens 8 years ago

Google Earth!

By: Jordan Dierkens, Allanna Kotarski, Cara Leoni, Jessica Acheson


Funny youtube video of Google Earth 


Google Earth in the Classroom 


Tool Description and Basic Functions:

  • Google Earth is a virtual globe, map, and geological program all in one.  It is based off of 3D maps, including terrain, buildings, and structures.  
  • This tool was released in 2005.
  • With Google Earth, you can explore! Just some examples of the places you can go virtually are: the Moon, 3D buildings, Mars, the Sky, the Ocean, and Historical Imagery.  You can dive into the ocean, fly in the sky, adventure through buildings, walk on the moon, and float in space to Mars.
  • Google Earth is used for Educators, Businesses, Products/Consumers, and Entertainment in some cases.   
  • Google Earth can be accessed through three different ways.  These three ways are: Desktop, Mobile, and Web.  Because all three of these are easily accessed, it makes Google Earth a very accessible tool that can be used in any classroom, at any time.
  • Google Earth also gives you the ability to connect with other users and experts in other Forums.  This could be very helpful for tutorial uses, but also for extra information for classroom uses.   
  • This tool has a free version, as well as an upgraded version which comes with a yearly fee.  
  • This tool's maps are updated every 5 minutes.  


  • Flight Simulator: Gives you the ability to "start flight" in any place, not just an airport.  
  • Sky Mode: It allows users to have the ability to see stars and other celestial bodies.  Also available for viewing are constellations, galaxies, objects in space, and planets.   
  • Street View: Provides 360 degree panoramic views of many parts of the world.  This can be cities, and metropolitan areas all at ground level.   
  • Water and Ocean: This allows the user to go beneath the surface of the ocean and even includes underwater terrain.  
  • Historical Imagery: allows users to traverse back in time and study earlier stages of any place. This feature allows research that require analysis of past records of various places.
  • Google Earth Hacks: makes news stories available along with data for people to view as well as other features or functions.  


Tutorial Information:


5 Examples of examples/lesson ideas:

  1. Simulation:  Google Earth can be used in Special Education by giving students the ability to choose anywhere in the world or outside of the world that they would like to study.  They are then asked to provide a report including printed pictures from Google Earth cameras, maps, and descriptions of the terrain on their geographical choice.  This gives them the opportunity to use the strategy of simulation with this Google Earth tool.  
  2. Gaming: Google Earth can be used as a game with Special Education students in relation to the above activity.  The students can share their repots, pictures, and maps with other students in the classroom and based off of their descriptions and pictures, the other students are encouraged to guess the place that the presenting student had chosen.  With this, it is a game in which the students try to compete with each other to see who can guess the place correctly first.   
  3. Tutorial: Students can use Google Earth to research areas of war in a history class or origins of foreign languages in a class and see what has happened and is happening without having to actually go there; making this experience a turorial. Being able to look at where these places are up close and from high above can create a better connection to the material when an image is present. Students would also be able to share their learning experience with other people as a presentation or just sharing knowledge.  
  4. Drill-Practice: Students can practice this in the real world by starting with searching an address of somewhere they need to go on MapQuest.  Students who are more visual learners can continue this real world situation my then searching that same address on Google Earth to then a 3D visual of the place they are heading to. 
  5. Problem solving: Students can use goggle earth to problem solve based on location. Special education students will have a variety of understandings of directions and how to find a point on a map. So the activity can be anywhere from simple navigation of north, east, south, west. To something more challenging such as a longitude and latitude activity where the students has to find what countries or cities are at what coordinates. The games can implement problem solving by making them into a treasure hunt, or having all the coordinates become a connect the dots puzzle. So that if the students does one point wrong, they have to go back and find their mistake in order to get the correct outcome. 

Other Resources/Web Links:


For more resources and to learn more information including beginner, advanced, and expert tutorials, visit the following websites.

1. http://www.google.com/earth/learn/

This gives you the opportunity to explore many different tutorials to become comfortable with the tool.


If you are looking to upgrade to the Google Earth Pro version, this gives you the link to upgrade to that version.  


Provides information about ways to use Google Earth as a teaching source with some ways to operate the system. 


Google Earth website itself to get started!

5. http://www.mapquest.com



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