· Enticing students to become interested in subjects such as geography (e.g. students can explore the Earth’s land surfaces and underwater views , as well as the surfaces of the Moon and Mars)
· Impact studies e.g., the impact of civilisation and natural disaster upon our planet (using historical views).
· Use in math classes e.g. using measurement tools such as longitude, latitude and the distance tool.
· Engaging students in class topics with the use of multimedia links.
· Using Google Sky (linked to Google Earth) for astronomy classes.
· Uploading field trip multimedia clips to Google Earth for future reference.
· Use in science and marine biology projects e.g., volcano and reef watch (NOAA, 2009).
· Assisting and benefiting visual/audio based learners
The educational uses for this tool are only limited by the imagination of the user. Google Earth is very user friendly and users of all ages could master this tool in a limited amount of time.
Used wisely, Google Earth would be a useful tool to motivate and engage students in meaningful learning. As Mclnerney and Mclnerney (2006) point out there is a relationship between motivation and constructivism. The importance of constructivism is demonstrated by The Student Motivation and Engagement Wheel developed by Martin (2003, as cited in Mclnerney & Mclnerney, 2006). The wheel illustrates clearly that, students without motivation towards learning will decline from a self-efficacy (confidant, able to face real world problems) stage to a disengagement (giving up) stage.
Mclnerney, D. M, & Mclnerney, V. (2006). Educational psychology constructing learning. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearsons Education Australia.
NOAA. (2009). Coral reef watch. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/ge/index.html