While Google Earth is a natural fit in geography lessons, it’s also a great tool to use in other subject areas. The expansion of the browser-based version of Google Earth has made it easier than ever before to incorporate Google Earth into your lessons. Here are five ideas for using Google Earth and Maps in multiple subject areas.
Multiple Versions of Google Earth
It’s important to note that there are multiple versions of Google Earth. The following ideas will all refer to either the web browser version of Google Earth and Google Maps or the desktop version of Google Earth known as Google Earth Pro (available for free to all teachers and students).
Google Earth in Mathematics
Dive into the education section of the Voyages in the browser version of Google Earth and you’ll find a few activities provided by Media4Math. These activities are The Geometry of Castles, The Geometry of Sustainable Architecture, and Triangular Structures. Real World Math is a site dedicated to using Google Earth Pro for math lessons.
Google Maps in Physical Education/ Health Education
Years ago my school district received a grant to revamp the physical education curriculum to promote life-long sports and activities like bicycling, running, and cross-country skiing. Google Maps is a great tool for planning and sharing safe routes for those activities. Here’s a video on how to create and share those routes.
Google Earth in Language Arts
More than a decade ago Jerome Burg started Google Lit Trips to promote the idea of using Google Earth to help students make connections between the books they read and the places written about in those books. Google Lit Trips is still a fantastic resource. Today, the web browser version of Google Earth has a section called Voyages. Within the Voyages section there tours based on folklore, myths, and poetry.
Google Earth in History
When I taught U.S. History creating Google Earth tours of key sites in the American Revolution was one of the first activities that I did with students every fall. Back then we had to use the desktop version of Google Earth, but now you can do the same thing with the web browser version of Google Earth. Here’s how to make a tour in the desktop version of Google Earth and here’s how to do it in the browser version.
Google Earth in Science
The desktop version of Google Earth lets students view and create tours of the moon and Mars. Students can also use the desktop version of Google Earth to view timelapse imagery and see how coastlines have changed over time. The Voyages section in the browser version of Google Earth has great tours for exploring oceans, lakes, and ecosystems. Here’s how to explore the moon and Mars in Google Earth and here’s how to explore timelapse imagery in Google Earth.
Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp!
Registration for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp is open. By popular demand I’ve added more early-bird tickets. This online PD event will feature ten live, interactive webinars on a wide array of topics applicable to every classroom. It will be held three times this summer. There is a June session and two July sessions. Register for the session of your choice here.