How I Use It
There are so many ways to incorporate Google Earth into the classroom. Some specific ways I have used it have been: for GPS locations when teaching longitude or latitude, mapping recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions for students to determine plate boundaries and for taking virtual field trips to areas where deforestation, drought or water scarcity are occurring. The time lapse feature gives students an incredible perspective of how much the Earth has changed because of human impact. There are also great maps and global awareness modules for endangered species and the water scarcity crisis. Google Earth is also great for students to learn and apply meteorology with the weather radar, cloud cover and conditions features.
Google Earth is a great example of a technology that when used appropriately can open the doors for student learning that before seemed impossible. I love the tours, weather applications and galleries which give access to earthquake data, human impact studies, NASA satellite data and many more. Google Earth has so many educational opportunities for our students but it could serve our students better if it became a little more user friendly. Right now when I want to use Google Earth in the classroom it takes a lot of pre-planning and there is a learning curve doing some lessons with the different applications. I would love to use Google Earth more in my lessons because student engagement and achievement have definitely increased when using this tool.