Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world with your family?
Where would you go? What would you see?
“Oh, the places you’ll go!” –Dr. Seuss
With today’s satellite technology, you can travel across the world effortlessly (and cheaply!) with your computer or mobile device. One vast educational tool that you can use is Google Earth. Have you incorporated this resource into your homeschooling?
Google Earth is a powerful and unique geography resource. It is a geographical browser that takes satellite, aerial, and street mapping data to create an interactive 3-dimensional globe. Google Earth can be used to compliment studies in science, geography, social studies, math fields, and more. The possibilities for instructional use are almost limitless as you progress from the beginner to advanced uses of the program.
Google Earth can be explored in three different modes.
Google Earth for Desktop
This free download provides access to satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, galaxies in space, and the depths of the ocean. You can install this directly on your desktop or laptop. It is easy to use!
Google Earth Web
The Google Earth plug-in functions through a web browser and gives access to geographic data on a 3-dimensional globe.
A few of the things you can do with Google Earth:
- Visit famous landmarks and cultural locations in cities
- View landmarks and buildings in 3-D
- Travel countries around the world
- Explore the oceans and seas
- Enjoy the beauty of National Parks
- Re-create journeys of characters in literature
These are just a few ideas of explorations that you can embark on in your journey around the globe. We have visited regal castles, ancient ruins, architectural marvels, historical sites, and natural wonders.
We love to explore the 3-dimensional aspects of buildings within Google Earth. As we read about famous landmarks in our history, geography, literature, and science studies, we are able to search for them in Google Earth. This adds a whole new dynamic to our learning as we add an interactive component.
Recently, we read about Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and expanded our studies by using Google Earth. This landmark was available in a 3-dimensional model and gave us an idea of the size and structure. We could use this model for sketching, crafting a paper-craft model, Lego build, or more.
In our studies of Ancient Rome, we learned all about the gruesome history of the Colosseum. It is absolutely fascinating to tour the modern ruins and surrounding city through Google Earth. The technological advances that are now available to us are quite impressive.
If you have not tried out Google Earth, I encourage you to dive in with your children and get started! You can pick out ideas from your history, science, or literature studies. Go visit countries you are reading about, search for the birthplaces of famous people, find landmarks, and explore natural wonders. Your children will love using an interactive tool to bring their learning to life!