EDU in 90: Innovate with Google Earth


[MUSIC PLAYING] MORGAN WEISMAN: Morgan and Tim
here, back with “EDU in 90.” On this episode, we’ll
look at Google Earth and highlight how
educators are leveraging this flexible, engaging
tool in the classroom. TIM ANDERSON: That’s right. Since its launch more
than a decade ago, Google Earth has made
its way into classrooms around the globe. Educators across grade
levels and subject areas have made use of this
tool with students to deepen engagement, introduce
topics, and build new skills. Let’s take a look at some of the
creative ways Google Earth is being used in the classroom. Let’s start with
Google Earth layers. There are more than
10 different layers, including ones on
current weather radar and current global temperature. And in her lessons on weather,
Ro James, an elementary school teacher in California, leverages
these with her students. They’ll begin by
interpreting weather data, they make predictions
about upcoming weather, and then circle back
and use the layers as a compelling anchor
point for class discussion. MORGAN WEISMAN: Another approach
to leveraging layers comes from James in British Columbia. He suggests coupling layers
with complementary Google Earth Voyager Stories. For example, he and his
students use the Earth at Night Voyager Story as part
of their unit on population. As a follow-up
activity, they look at Protecting the
Earth’s Last Wild Places layer to explore where
there’s human impact on nature and discuss its implications. TIM ANDERSON: Google
Earth can also be a flexible resource for
writing lessons and warmups. For instance, Sarah
in Chicago will share a menu of 10 different
international cities with her students and
have them choose one. Based on their selections,
they’ll work in small groups to compare and
contrast the locations with their own
community in Chicago. From there, they’ll
work independently on short narrative
writing pieces using sensory
details to describe what it would be like to
take a walk in that location. MORGAN WEISMAN: Another quick
flexible use of Google Earth is their quizzes. Brenna in Louisiana uses
these to introduce concepts to her students and to
provide some extra variety in her lessons. For example, with the
Ocean Safari quiz, her students are able
to explore a topic in a quick, engaging way. Perfect for kicking off
a new unit or lesson. TIM ANDERSON: And lastly,
fifth grade teacher Donnie utilizes a fresh take on bingo. With the I’m Feeling Lucky
button in Google Earth, he and his students carefully
observe the characteristics of each of several locations. He’ll adjust the bingo cards
to support and reinforce whatever topic he’s
covering with the students– physical concepts,
by using terms for geographic features like,
deltas, buttes, and rivers, math and geometry
concepts; by observing different types
of angles, lines, and two-dimensional shapes;
and community concepts, by looking at community
types and institutions, like libraries, hospitals,
and fire stations. MORGAN WEISMAN: Yep, that’s
a wrap for this episode, but we know there are
heaps of other ways to use Google Earth
in the classroom. If you have a favorite, be sure
to share it in the comments below. We’ll see you next time
for more “EDU in 90.” AT MCWILLIAMS: Virtual field
trips, book clubs, and more. Check out our last
episode to hear how educators like
you are using Hangouts Meet in their classrooms.

4 thoughts on “EDU in 90: Innovate with Google Earth”

  1. Thanks, hope you have a video in the making on the new g.co/earthstudio .. yes I know pretty new right now and still on version 1 ..

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