How I Use It
The best use of this is to make sure every student has a laptop. It also works well in pairs, any more than two per laptop and the teacher needs to assign specific roles to each student. With math we use the rule to measure and convert between objects. We also use it to find area. In history we do everything from longitude to latitude to state capitols to world history. Using Google earth they take screen shots of locations (capitals for example) and they create/write using those pictures a travel guide or a bucket list of places they want to visit before they die (bucket list). In science we use the information provided in the layers (Arkive) plus the astronomy features to study standards that relate to those topics. We always try and incorporate writing into these activities.
I think google earth is a great online tool to use to teach a variety of topics. Our STEM academy has used this to teach topics in history, science, math and literacy.