Google Earth Compendium for Educators

I’ve been following a lot of posts on Google’s latest movement to support educators, especially those involving Google Earth. So I thought perhaps that I’d make a brief compendium of those resources, as I often forget links that I don’t bookmark, and sometimes forget even those I’ve listed on the Fresh Links. Of course, I’m not a terribly complete authority on Google Earth so I’m sure there are many more links and resources out there for using the program, but these should be a good place to start:

Google for Educators – Google Earth

“Your students can now study geographical topics like Earth’s Holocene volcanoes, including images, links, and descriptions, with information about thousands of volcanoes around the globe, thanks to organizations like the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program. Students can also use Google Earth to explore topics like the progress of human civilization, the growth of cities, the impact of civilization on the natural environment, and the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.” -Google

Google really understands what makes their 3D Earth so popular. It’s not being able to zoom in and see you house from the air (alright, so that’s pretty cool). It’s about exploring the world, seeing it up close and not just as an old photo in a textbook. Using Google Earth, my students explored the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire, flew over the sands of Egypt and the great Pyramids, and even traveled across the mountains of Asia.

Google Earth Blog – Back to School with Google Earth
One of my favorite resources for exploring and learning about Google Earth, the GE Blog is written not by an educator, but what we hope our students will become; life-long learners. Frank Taylor, the author of Google Earth Blog, was awe-struck when he first saw the program, and has been diligently reporting on astonishing new developments, resources that are continually being developed for Google Earth, and provides a wealth of technical knowledge about the inner workings of the program. In this particular post he highlights National Geographic data that can be viewed using Google Earth, websites that focus on geography and Google Earth, and a link to a rather helpful post on educational uses of Google Maps, a popular mapping website that uses the same satellite views of the Earth as Google Earth.

Google Earth Community
It’s like the forum here on Tech Savvy Ed, only with thousands of more members, and amazing content dedicated for use in Google Earth. Maps and interactive overlays for geographic data, environmental and conservation data, and even fun and games can all be found here. Imagine having your students go on an interactive geo-hunt using Google Earth, or illustrating a history lesson with encyclopedic map pins. There’s even a forum dedicated to Educators, Students, and tools for using Google Earth in the classroom. Worth a look, if only to glean some fresh ideas for those already using Google Earth, or to get some starting ideas for those that haven’t used the program yet.