Entertain Your Brain with Google Earth


How often have you drifted away to some exotic island in the middle of the school day?!?  Well, capture that and transform it to a "teachable moment" with Google Earth.  I had the opportunity to demo this GREAT FREE DOWNLOAD with DEN member Ray’s 5th graders.  I loved watching their expressions as slowly, but surely we zoomed down into Asia.  Occasionally, I would stop the zoom and remind them of what elevation we were at and ask them what they could identify from this height.  At first it was only continents and oceans, but it didn’t take us long to be able to see mountain ranges, vegetation, deserts, etc.  Suddenly, we could make out the first building.  Hovering over Asia and a pretty high distance, I asked the students if they could guess what that building was.  One student said an airport.  Interesting I thought… and would you believe that as we zoomed in closer we could actually see the planes pulled into the gates?!?! 

There are so many teachable applications for this great resource.  Stay tuned as 10 DEN members from 10 different states create fly by tours of the 50 states to be displayed and shared on our DEN website.

EarthIf you missed John Kuglin’s PHENOMENAL webinar on how to use unitedstreaming with Google, please visit our archived version by going to the link listed below.  The password to access the recorded session is discovery. Note that your computer may need to download a quick plug-in so that you can view the recording file type.  Thanks again to John for getting us all Googley 🙂


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  1. Reggie said:

    I really enjoyed the presentation and also had a blast following along doing the hands on. Luckily the Mac version is already out for me to play with. I am looking forward to learning how educators are having students use this is the classroom. These recorded webinars are fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  2. Kimberly Mattingly said:

    Thanks for sharing. I tried the weather map overlay and I can’t wait to show this to my students. 🙂

  3. RJ Stangherlin said:

    I was lucky to be able to see John Kuglin’s presentation in Denver at T + L2, but I am delighted to have an archived recording. I showed it to my Honors English 11 classes [it took two days because we do not have block scheduling]. We are involved in a video conference with Dr. Peter Conn from the University of Pennsylvania in conjunction with 5 other PA high schools. The conference explores different aspects of Ben Franklin’s Autobiography. We are responsible for uncovering Franklin’s sense of community. We are using Google Earth with placemarks locating the evolution of Franklin’s notions of community in America and Europe. What a fantastic tool to have available. Without the archived recording, I would have been hesitant to try this on my own, but we interacted with the webinar in our computer lab, and I could hardly get the students to their next class.

    We have some problems with what we want to do, however. We are using unitedstreaming video clips, doing voice overs and inserting digital images. No problems here, but we cannot seem to insert an edited video or a student-created video into the placemarks. Ditto for PowerPoint with audio/video streams. Any ideas?

    I’ve also linked the webinar to my new website so other students and teachers can begin using the technology. What we have been doing last week has been the buzz of the school, so posting the webinar allows everyone to discover at their own pace. Thank you, again, for keeping DEN members at the cutting edge in education.

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