Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Using Google Earth Trips in the Classroom

Google Earth is a free and easy download. Just go to http://earth.google.com/. Whether you teach Science, Social Studies, English, Geography, Economics, Demographics, Transportation or any subject, this program allows students to visit places they may or may not visit in their lifetime. Google Earth allows you to take your students on trips without costing a dime. In these tougher times, isn’t that better than never taking your students on a field trip? But more than that, it is an excellent learning tool for your students. Teachers are not limited to only themselves creating the trips. Students can create their own Google Earth trips as well. The program allows users to display multi-layers of information on a 3 dimensional satellite view of the earth. Zoom into an area, change your view, create a placemark, and insert information, pictures, movies and links. Then do the same to the rest of the places you want to visit. Create a folder to save all these placemarks you created and presto; you have a Google Earth trip. You can also email this trip to someone else or just show it in class. Students can see the devastation that occurs after a natural disaster, the growth of civilization on the environment, the places that the current and classic novels reference, global warming issues, the diminishing tropical rainforest or many other topics that are part of the curriculum you teach on a daily basis. Students can use the images they zoom in on in PowerPoint, Word, Publisher or any other presentation program for a project or assignment you have in class. Teachers all around the world use Google Earth, do you? Here is the Google Earth for Educators site http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html. Check it out and enjoy!

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