Big Brother? What am I talking about?
I know that a lot of folks in class have discovered this application already, but not me. In a social studies class, we looked at the Earth based on night/day light. We could see where the electric lights were located, putting on a setting where both halves could be at night. From there, we could see the areas of lightness, but also (and more interestingly) of darkness. Why is it dark? Is it a rural area? A mountain chain? An ocean? Maybe a lake?
There are a lot of geography opportunities, like marking the areas of high altitude or making a trail like the Oregon trail. Students can mark their own trails across the nation!
There’s a lot of neighborhood opportunities, zooming into houses and cities. You can highlight areas, add markers denoting special places. When we talk about TPaCK, we are looking for tools that will enhance the classroom (or provide a new outlet for learning). With Google Earth, we have a tool that won’t consume paper, that is very manipulative, and strives to be as real as life itself.
There’s also a special “ocean” section for the marine biologist. 😉