Saturday, 8 August 2009

Travel around with Google Earth!

Hi everyone,

Recently, I downloaded Google Earth. This program enables users to view aerial images of places around the earth. Recently in Australia, Google Street View was added. This allows the user to view pictures of streets in cities around Australia.

I recently used this resource in one of my lessons. My Prep students are studying job roles within their community. This specific lesson was to focus on the relationship between hospitals, paramedics and ambulances. I decided to use this technology as the hook into the lesson. Previously, I was made aware of the speed of the computers at school; therefore, at home, I entered the details of the nearest hospital, and took a screen dump of the aerial shot. I then pasted this into Microsoft Word. I repeated the same process using Street View. I took screen dumps of the ambulances waiting outside the emergency department as well as the entrance to the hospital. These images were shown to the students using the Word document and Data Projector. This was effective as it provided a great starting point for discussion.

I considered the use of this technology in upper grades and concluded that it aligned well with the Learning Design Framework (AusInfo, 2003).
For example, within the SOSE Essential Learnings (Queensland Studies Authority, 2008), the juncture by the end of Year five states,

“Environments are defined by physical and human dimensions.”

For example, the task may require students to identify land features and explore problems within their own environment.

The Learning Design Framework (AusInfo, 2003) can be applied as summarised below:

- Learning Tasks – The problem is for students to investigate their local environment.

- Learning Resources - Google Earth, in conjunction with other resources, can assist in the acquisition of knowledge with students viewing landforms from an aerial perspective.

- Learning Supports – Students will use the information that the resources provide to make informed judgements in conjunction with scaffolding from the Learning Manager.

The use of this framework is also supported by the Productive Pedagogies Framework, specifically, 'Connectedness to the world' (Education Queensland, 2006). Authentic learning experiences are created when students are presented with real-life challenges and connections are made to their lives outside the classroom.

The only problem with this technology is that needs to be downloaded from the Internet on each computer. Due to the slow bandwidth connection in schools, Learning Managers will need to be prepared and allocate time before lessons to install this program.

This is a great tool to use in the classroom for students to view countries around the world from an aerial perspective. It is one of the tools that I will be attempting to incorporate into the classroom.



AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from Learning Design:

Education Queensland. (2006). Productive Pedagogies. Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Curriculum Implementation Unit.

Queensland Studies Authority. (2008). Essential Learnings: SOSE. Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Author.


  1. Wow Melissa - what a wonderful way to hook the preppies! They would have loved this, they probably wanted you to find their house too! I am wondering though, if you had previously done any work on areial shots of maps with them? This type of view would have been dificult for them to contemplate - did you have any problems?

  2. Thanks for the comment Chenoa!
    I didn't actually consider the use of this tool for maths - so thanks! You have definitely given me something to think about. I will try to use it in a maths lesson in the future. I am sure that the Preps will become confused with the aerial shot, so maybe I can use some concrete 3D objects to help them to understand the concept.