A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies

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Google Earth and Google Maps should be staples in the toolbox of anyone who teaches social studies lessons. These are powerful tools that can be used by elementary, middle, and high school students. This course will teach you how to use Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google My Maps in your classroom.

In this crash course I outline five social studies lesson activities that utilize Google Maps and Google Earth to help students make discoveries and to demonstrate what they’ve learned. These projects can be adapted for use in elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school, and high school settings.

In this course you can learn:

  • How to create multimedia maps. 
  • The distinctions between versions of Google Earth and Google Maps
  • How to map datasets.
  • How to create custom image overlays in Google Earth.
  • How to build and record virtual tours.
    • How students can collaborate remotely on Google Earth projects.
  • How to measure and draw in Google Earth.
  • Multimedia mapping options for students who don’t have Google Accounts.
  • The nuts and bolts of Google Earth and Maps.

Course Structure

  • Eight self-paced modules.
  • Hand-outs to support the modules.
  • Q&A form available in each module.
  • Certificate of completion.


  • This course is designed for teachers of grades 3-12 (ages 9 to 18). Who use Windows computers, Mac computers, or Chromebooks in their classrooms.
  • When you register you will have immediate access to all of the course modules for one year. You can go back through the modules as many times as you’d like during the year.
  • Group registration is available. Email richard (at) byrne.media to learn more.