At a recent educational technology conference, a presenter demonstrated how he used Google earth with his students to explore the White House in Washington D.C. . His demonstration was fascinating and it demonstrated how easy it was to use Google Earth to explore the many rooms within the White House. As a introduction, he used Google Earth to show the exact path taken by the man that jumped the fence and trespassed into the White House. Very cool!
Besides following sensational events, why use Google Earth in the classroom. Here a graphic from SERC (Science Education Resource Center) at Carleton College that highlights the values of using Google Earth in the classroom:
Getting started with Google Earth takes some exploration on your own. First, you want to get the application. Then, it's important to learn about the features in this app and how to use them before using it with students. Google has put together a collection of tutorials on the tools available in the Google Earth app. One very useful tool is called Tour Guide. Here is a tutorial on Tour Guide:
I'm excited about using Google Earth in my classroom. It's a powerful application that can be used in a variety of ways to engage students in their learning. From visiting the setting in a story that students are reading, to seeing what a volcano looks like when it erupts, or visiting the White House, Google earth is an amazing tool to have in the classroom.
The following resources are helpful to learn more about Google Earth and virtual field trips:
Visit historical/culturally significant places and artifacts through the Google Cultural Institute
The White House through Google Cultural Institute
The resources above were also used in part for creating this blog post.