Teacher Review For Google Earth

Google Earth can play a key role in field studies

Amy L.
Classroom teacher
Grant High School
Portland, OR
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 3
Support 3
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I have used Google Earth in a class that involved intensive field studies. We used it to create a "fly over" of all of our study sites and helped students grasp scales and variations in habitats. It was also a great way for them to delve in to the geography and tree distribution on their sites. They could also see buildings, roads, and geographical features that may not have been easy to grasp on the ground and helped them think through possible ecological disturbances.
My Take
Google Earth provides such great visuals and has more functionality the more you work with it. Students are highly engaged and it is more a matter of keeping them focused than getting them excited. It doesn't require strong language skills, so it works great with ELL students.