How great is Google earth!? I am obsessed, but I must admit I did discover this great tool a while back now and have been using it ever since. For those who are unsure as to what Google Earth offers, I have done some investigations of my own and came up with some pretty interesting findings.
Google (2009) themselves discuss how they use a satellite imagery-based mapping product that puts the whole world on a student's computer. It enables users to "fly" from space to street level to find geographic information and explore places around the world. Like a video game and a search engine rolled into one, Earth is basically a 3D model of the entire planet that lets you grab, spin and zoom down into any place on Earth. As now as technology advances Google has updated its Google earth to include; Google StreetView, view photo-realistic 3D buildings, and even show your students sunset around the world with the new Sunlight feature.
Kearsley and Shnneiderman Engagement Theory (1999) fits well within the use of Google Earth, because it encompasses the use of authentic learning experiences which have an overall affect of collaborative learning. As a future learning manager I would take the approach to using such a great tool by possibly doing the following;
- Use real time coordinates to demonstrate distance calculations and verify the results using Google earth measurement tools.
- View tectonic plate shift evidence by examining whole continents, mountains ranges and areas of volcanic activity.
- Study craters, dry lake beds and other major land forms.
- Explore human civilization, growth of cities, and impact of growth on the environment.
Google. (2009). Google Earth: For Educators. Retrieved August 17th, 2009 from http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html
Kearsley, G. & Schneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 16th, 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/-gkearsley/engage.htm