How I Use It
I use Google Earth in my 6th Grade Earth Science classroom. There are many aspects of Earth Science that students need more concrete manipulatives or resources in order to understand fully. In teaching the content, I found it difficult to use our surrounding outside resources. Not only that, because our school is not Title 1 funded, we have a lack of physical resources to use the in classroom. I found that Google Earth allowed my students to physically see changes that happen to the Earth through weathering and erosion, in particular, with glacial erosion. Something that was once impossible for most to travel to see, I was able to grant them access to understanding the content better through Google Earth. Not only that, I paired Google Earth with some virtual reality to allow them to be able to visit sites in 3D. They've also added educational resources like the Voyager that has captions and explanations of lessons.
I believe that there are a plethora of tools on Google Earth that can be overwhelming. Having clear instructions or directions if you are allowing students to work in small groups or pairs as a break out is necessary, unless you are helping them step by step. I love the fact that they've added the Voyager which is specifically for education, which helps teachers in planning and making using Google Earth in class more streamlined.