Introduction to Google Earth

If you haven't found your house on Google Earth (or Google maps), I suggest you do. As you do that, what transferable skills are you using? Try doing it without typing in your address, how does Earth look different from a birds eye view? 

Have your students do the same and note that anytime you introduce new technology into your classroom, you need new procedures and time for the kids to play (and for you to sort out the kinks). Yes, there will inevitably be issues, but modeling a calm, problem solving approach to them is really important. 

My house is cool, but what else can you do with Google Earth?

One on of the saddest things I've heard in a long time was that the Sphinx at Giza now has a KFC in its line of sight. I’m not one to believe things just because someone's said so, but I wanted to know if this disheartening factoid was true.

I hopped onto Google Earth and found the Sphinx and then looked at the pictures, turns out it’s a KFC/Pizza Hut…

 How can you use this in your classroom?

While I find this horrifying, my students inevitably find it fascinating. It’s a hook, but sometimes you need one. 


I use Google Earth for numerous reasons here are some content examples:

1. Scientific inquiry

Classroom examples:

        Can you see the Great Wall of China from space?

                 What does glacial erosion look like?

Professional example

Google Earth helps discover rare hominid ancestor in South Africa 

2. Learn geography

3. Visit famous historical sites/look at historical images

        Find Globe Theater (reconstructed) and look inside.

        If you’re teaching recent history Historical Imagery is the place to go.

4. English Language Arts

        Book Tours or Lit Trips

5. Math

        Real World Math

6. Art