Google Earth-ing Myself Silly

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I have been aware of Google Earth for quite sometime, but other than typing in my address and looking at the outdated picture of my house I have done very little with this very powerful tool. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a online syllabus for a Google Earth class. It reminded me how little I know. I have tried to attend a few classes on Google Earth, but each time I felt like I left with very little new information.

Fast-forward a few weeks and the Google Earth part of my brain feels like is going to explode with information. Last night I was up until 11 pm downloading and editing KML & KMZ files! I have read so many great blogs, websites, and wikis all related to Google Earth. My friend, Burt, even helped me figure out how to make my own Google Earth (KML) files (its pretty easy).

Unfortunately, I don’t teach social studies. Google Earth can (and should) be used in other classrooms (check out this geometry activity), but its home is definitely amongst history and geography lessons. However, I haven’t seen it being used in too many social studies classrooms. All I can assume is that like me you haven’t found any great Google Earth classes and you are still looking at the outdated pictures of your house.

In my quest to learn more about Google Earth this summer I have started putting together a wiki for a couple of reasons. First, I am now signed up to teach a Google Earth class and I need a way to collect and organize my findings. If I know you personally, I hope to you see you in my class. Second, I want to share what I have found with you in hopes that you will use it with your students. I will be adding more to this wiki in the future, so subscribe to the RSS feed at the bottom of the page. If you’d like to add some items yourself, let me know and I will send you the password.

So, go download Google Earth and then start pulling down all of the KML and KMZ files you can find. Warning, you may find yourself looking for ways to use this in the classroom everyday.

Joe

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