Exploring Web 2.0 For The Classroom

Posts Tagged ‘Google Earth

For my technology class, we had to research, learn to use, and create an artifact of another Web 2.0 tool. We chose to do Google Earth, which is a web-based tool that is downloadable onto your computer that allows you to explore the Earth, Moon, Mars and the Sky in many different ways. Since my partner and I are going to be secondary social studies teachers, we thought this would be a great tool to learn how to use. I had played around with it before but never with the idea of using it in a classroom setting. I had just searched around looking for past houses and towns I had lived in. It sure is great to remember a place you used to live!

Google Earth is definitely amazing and is the top of its class, but it is nowhere near perfect and takes time to figure out. Google is very helpful with learning how to use this application. There are many forums, guides, examples and tips that are easily accessible through the program itself or by Google Search. I was pretty disappointed with the program not being user friendly. I had to search how to do things many times just to make a simple tour. Now that I know how it is somewhat easier but it just didn’t turn out that great. The 3D view is my favorite. It is so cool that you can explore different places as if you were walking down the street. Although, you must be careful because it is just as easy to get lost in Google Earth as if you were there in person! Hopefully you have a good sense of direction. Another really annoying thing was that the program would randomly shut down and you would lose your work…big bummer. I hope soon in the future Google perfects this wonderful application!

There is a limitless number of things you can do with Google Earth in the classroom. Just by doing some quick research I found a bunch of great ideas! The only problem is it’s a lot harder than you think to actually use them. But, once I become comfortable with Google Earth, I will definitely use it in my classroom. It works wonders for social studies lessons. For a government class, we could explore Washington DC. For a history class, students could explore how places they learn about look today. And obviously Google Earth is great for geography classes. I would have to spend a lot of time to actually figure out what and how I wanted to use it in class. I think students would really enjoy exploring on their own and not just watching what the teacher did. A great idea is to create a scavenger hunt and have the kids explore to find everything. Overall, even though it’s difficult, Google Earth is a great tool to use to integrate technology into the classroom.

I found these sites below to be helpful for ideas and tips:

Google Earth Blog

Google Earth by Google –> this site has some issues, such as missing pages, but it is still helpful.

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Below is the artifact I made on Kerpoof, which is a drawing site for kids: