Thursday, November 8, 2007

Google Earth....

If you haven't started using Google Earth as an educational tool, you aren't just missing the boat, you are missing the whole fleet! Google's free tool is effectively replacing the globe and even wall mounted maps in my Social Studies classroom. There are just so many things you can do with it!

Find Spots Instantly
I am ashamed to admit that there have been times (1 or 2) when a student asked about a part of the world and I wasn't exactly sure where the country was located. Google Earth eliminates this worry, as you can easily type in locations and zoom right to the correct spot. You can search by country, by city name, by latitude and longitude, even by entering landmarks such as the Grand Canyon or the Colosseum.

Measure Distances Accurately
Google Earth also has a built in tools for measuring distances on the globe. This is such a great tool for teaching! Let's say you wanted to find out exactly how far it is from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Google Earth takes the guesswork out of the equation and lets you find out within inches.

3D Buildings
Possibly the most exciting new tool in Google Earth is the 3D buildings option. Many buildings have been modeled in 3d, with textures, and can be viewed right within Google Earth.

You can even create your own models with Google Sketchup. More on that in another post!

If you haven't installed Google Earth yet, you can install it here.