Community reviews for Google Earth

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Google Earth allows students to see the world beyond just what they have been able to witness already.

Google Earth is an amazing site that can be extremely beneficial within the classroom. For example, if there is a lesson on different cultures around the world, a teacher would be able to show their students what life looks like in that location. It also allows a student to understand just how diverse the world is and how big it is. Traveling is an amazing experience that not all children are able to experience, therefore Google Earth can show them just exactly what it is like to travel.
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Relevant digital map exploration

Google Earth provides a number of learning ("exploration") units that provide context and relevance to different map features. This is an amazing feature. It also allows for interdisciplinary lesson planning. For example, there is a great feature that takes students on a visual tour of medieval castles which is accompanied by an explanation of how math factors into defense planning. Finally, and perhaps of most interest to teachers, there is a project tool that allows students to mark and label the map. Teachers could find many useful applications for this to facilitate student collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. For example, you could have students identify locations on the map where civilizations first emerged and then compare and contrast their geological features in preparation for a group presentation or classroom discussion. There is a written tutorial, which is helpful. However, to Google Earth's credit, it is also an incredibly intuitive tool as well. It would be very easy for a teacher to explain how it works and then turn their class loose on an activity. As far as relevance, this is great. Although I have a love for physical, foldout maps, they are archaic. As somebody who used maps extensively in my previous work prior to becoming a teacher, the feature of Google Earth are very similar to the features a student would likely use in the real world if geography factored into their work. All of that said, this tool isn't going to do the heavy lifting in regard to pedagogy. Geographical content and technology is here in abundance, but a teacher is going to have to generate a plan for how to integrate this into their lesson (barring the "exploration" activities mentioned above, which are more fleshed out). So, if you want this to facilitate critical thinking, you're going to have to come up with the questions (or previously taught the students how to generate relevant questions on their own).
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Learn about cultures and countries you could only dream of visiting!

I love that Google Earth is not only exciting, visually appealing, and expansive, but it also provides the user with an education of the areas on the planet-- and beyond! You can learn interesting facts about topics from Mars, Japan, the desert, to the ocean, simply by utilizing the software and exploring. Clearly, many professionals have worked hard to compile fun facts and vital background to these locations provided, and this allows the user to gain an extensive knowledge about places they normally would never get to experience in person.
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Can see the whole earth on your device!

My overall opinion about this tool is that it's very useful and very interesting to be able to see anywhere you want without having to go anywhere. I like that it can give students context as to a subject a teacher may be talking about to give them a visual. The downside may be that it's just a zoomable map with nothing else, no information about the place.
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Great way to visualize different geographies and places all around the world.

Overall I think this is a great tool to hook students in to engage in conversations about different places around the world and visualize different locations to a higher degree than would be possible without this technology.
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You can see any place on Earth that you want

My opinion on Google Maps is that it is a very useful program to help students better learn geography. You can find any place on Earth with this, and you can see most places pretty clearly. I think it is important to teach students how to use it and let them find places on Earth that are important to the lesson, since it is an effective way to teach kids to find places and also it is a way for the students to have fun. The students might enjoy interacting with it which makes it easier for them to learn.
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This is useful for everyone of all ages!

My overall opinion is that this app is amazing and extremely useful. I like that anyone from all ages can use, my dad is a truck driver so this app allows him to see what routes are easier for him to take as well.
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Access anywhere on Earth!

I think this tool is great with a variety of students. It helps you contextualize places that seem very far away. The best part is that once you show them this tool they will use it to find other places that you mention in your lessons. I use this on the first short story I teach every year and after that we are off to London or Lagos or Tokyo depending on the setting of the other stories we read. Its great at opening up the world in that way. I guess my only fault would be that it is not very good at giving any more background information than the images of that place and as we all know sometimes images are deceiving and certainly do not tell the whole story.
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Making Abstract Concepts More Concrete

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.
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Google Earth APP - Good Not Great - YET!

Yes, it can be a bit "wonky" at times. And the Google Earth tablet version definitely offers less functionality than the PC version but it is still a good tool to punctuate social studies, world language or almost ANY lesson!!! Our teachers like the amazing detail and the fact that there are eight layers (great for older kids), and you can upload photos of your own and take screenshots (super easy on a tablet). We ran into a few issues with our Android tablets, like the new Earth Gallery feature, with special maps in seven categories, is buggy and doesn't display well. However, Students can enter locations and quickly maneuver across the globe, zooming in to show detail right down to the level of parked cars. The "Lookaround" option anchors you, limiting your view to tilting up, down, and 360 degrees. When "Lookaround" is off, the Pan mode allows users to explore freely across terrain by swiping. Zoom in by placing two fingers on the screen and moving them apart or by double-tapping with a single finger. Zoom out by placing two fingers on the screen and moving them together, or by double-tapping the screen with two fingers. Kids find it almost intuitive to use, whereas it took the teachers a little longer to figure out!
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