Google Earth is an astounding, eye-opening, free geographic resource that allows you and your children to fly anywhere on the planet and zoom in to see cities, buildings, landmarks, ancient ruins, terrain: anything on Earth. If you have never witnessed its wonders, check out this features tour, and then read more of the endless possibilities of how using Google Earth can enhance your lessons.
Google Earth is an application you can download onto your computer that enables you to virtually fly around the globe, zooming in from out of space, down to street level. Teachers have begun to use it in their classrooms in a variety of ways:
- show students real views of cities
- explore historical areas
- see landforms from aerial views
- view animal habitats
- go on scavenger hunts to find physical features or capital cities
- view the effects of climate change
- take tours of ancient ruins such as the pyramids
- explore the ocean or outer space
- virtual “visit” the settings of books they’ve read
Learn more about incorporating Google Earth into the classroom as well as access to classroom-ready lesson plans available here. Google Earth has also designed tutorials and tips to help you get started.
Getting Started with Google Earth
1) First, download the Google Earth App onto your computer.
3) Type an address or place name into the input box under the “Fly to” tab, and then click the search button. Try typing in your home or school address and watch as you zoom in from outer space to your community.
4) Label locations with placemarks. You can navigate between many locations and create a tour for your students.
5) Add different layers to show places of interest, weather patterns, or political borders.
Exceptional Google Earth videos
Virtually travel to Japan to view the the cherry blossoms with this awesome street view setting.
Wander UNESCO Heritage and Cultural Landmarks with Google Earth
Watch how Street View hops on the train to capture the Swiss Alps
Google Earth 3D Tour of Rome
Tour of an Amazon Forest on “Street View”
Underwater Street View!