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Social Science---Google Earth

Page history last edited by Rose Pompey 8 years, 6 months ago

What is Google Earth?


Google Earth is a virtual mapping tool put out by Google. It has to be downloaded on to a computer and cannot just be used online. Through using this tool you can explore any part of the world. You start at a global level and then use the controls to navigate around the Earth. You can explore the Earth from many perspectives, from high above or from under the sea. It is a virtual globe in that it is a map of the Earth, but you can also look at 3d images of most places on Earth.



How to Use Google Earth


To begin using Google Earth, you must first download it onto your computer. To do this go to http://www.google.com/Earth/index.html and click download Google Earth. Then follow the instructions.


After you download Google Earth you will be able to open it from a link on your desktop that looks like this 




After you click on it you will get a screen that looks like this




One issue with this tool is that you do have to have downloaded it before hand. If you have a school library with Google Earth already downloaded on the computers this can be a great tool to use. However, this is not a great tool to assign students to use at home. It is free to download, however, this is an extra step so I would not recommend having students use outside of school.



Here is a link to a YouTube tutorial on how to use Google Earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkMUMXLWUm0



Here is a pdf tutorial on how to use Google Earth http://www.denison.edu/offices/computing/support/training/googleEarth.pdf




Google Earth in Your Classroom


Google Earth is a tool that has wide range of uses in Social Studies classrooms.


One cool feature of Google Earth that I discovered is that you can see images and maps of what a place looked like in the past; this is limited to between the last 10 and 60 years in most places however this could be a really good tool to look at change over time.


Another really useful feature of Google Earth is that you can look at weather across the world; this is a very useful tool in a Geography class when you are studying weather patterns.



One simple but effective way to use Google Earth is to show a virtual tour of a place you are studying. This can be a really helpful way for students to see and make the place they are learning about more real to them. This is often particularly important for students who have not traveled much.




Links to Resources for Using Google Earth


This is a site made by Google Earth for educators to use. This site includes a getting started link and a number of lesson plans for different content areas.




This is a blog where teachers share lessons using Google Earth, which they have either created or found useful in their classroom.




This site has 50 different activities/lessons using Google Earth. They are divided by age level, elementary, middle, and high. They also have a section on virtual tours.



This is another page with examples of lessons using Google Earth.




This page has examples of projects that students have done using Google Earth.





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