Friday, February 27, 2015

Endless Possibilities with Google Earth

I recently led a workshop on Making Global Connections to Literacy, and was reminded all over again what a fantastic learning tool Google Earth can be.  Despite the fact that we are living in an increasingly global society, a National Geographic study indicates that many young Americans have a limited understanding of the world.  Using Google Earth in the classroom is an easy and highly engaging way to help students make real-world connections.

Google Lit Trips, the free, non-profit initiative that provides virtual field trips based on literature, is one way teachers can use Google Earth to support global learning. Following the journeys of literary characters on the surface of the earth, students can use the Lit Trips to understand locations, distances, and cultures.  Each placemark on a Lit Trip has a pop-up window that can include photos, links to related recources of the author and the book, writing/discussions prompts, and more. With more that 60 titles for students in Kindergarten through high school, the selection is wide. Travel the streets of Boston with Make Way for Ducklings, or the Joad family journey in The Grapes of Wrath.  You can even make your own Lit Trip, a project that requires some planning and a little html knowledge, but is worth the effort!

Tech Awards: 2010 Laureate from GoogleLitTrips on Vimeo.

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