logo_sm.gifGoogle Earth is one of hottest free tools on the internet these days. Although it may be seen as perhaps a distraction to students inside the classroom, Google Earth can be used as a very useful tool in the classroom. At the Google for Educators website it offers a few different ideas on how to use Google Earth in the classroom. These ideas are:


Google Earth is not just for Geography classes, either. Here are some ways Google Earth can be used in other concentrations:

Google Earth and Math
Students can use real-time coordinates in Google Earth to do distance calculations, and verify the results using Measurement tools.

Google Earth and Geology
Students and teachers can view tectonic plate shift evidence by examining whole continents, mountain ranges, areas of volcanic activity and so on. Impact craters, dry lake beds and other major land forms are all available for viewing.

Google Earth and History
Students and teachers can use Google Earth to research the progress of human civilization, the growth of cities and the impact of human civilization on the natural environment. Using SketchUp and historic overlays, students can actually recreate ancient cities.

Hall Davidson, who is the director of the Discovery Educator Network, is obviously a big fan of the uses of Google Earth in the classroom:
"It has been a long time since a technology application got the eye-popping reaction from teachers that Google Earth gets. Inserting videos into PowerPoint was the last comparable roar. Which makes perfect sense. With Google Earth, the earth itself becomes a video. It spins and twirls with an interactive terrain, astonishingly detailed. Kids zoom in on the arena of the Coliseum or the Louisiana river delta. I watched sixth grade California publicschool teacher Ray Hernandez's students insert a video on the American Revolution from unitedstreaming onto the site at Bunker Hill . Dennis Wong's 5th graders overlaid their photos onto their family country of origin and created a truly relevant flying world tour. Both exercises created savable files, an incredibly important feature. Ray's kids' work can be shared on the Internet with his Discovery Educator Network nationwide. Mr. Wong's work remains safely accessible only on his hard drive for use all year in his room. Google Earth enables teachers and communities to easily create tremendous collections of work integrating video, 3D buildings, photos, podcasts, or NPR stories . Teacher and students will travel the real earth of explorations, migrations, heroes and history and share new instruction growing on the planet itself."

The number of activites you can do with Google Earth is endless so use your imagination and most importantly, have some fun!


For information on how to use Google Earth, check out the How to Use Google Earth Tools page.

To see an example of a math webquest using Google Earth, check out the How to Use Google Earth for Math page.

Check out the A History Webquest Using Google Earth page for a good example of a history webquest using Google Earth.

This page was created by Sean Curtis