"Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others" (Google Earth, 2009).
Whilst exploring Google Earth I was able to use it's many functions including pin pointing exact locations, zooming in and out, flagging places of interest and viewing roads and terrain. These would be useful tools in the class room when exploring units that encompass "Where do I come From", "What's in My Backyard" as well as investigating the differences between countries and their climates and environments. Australia having very dry areas where as Ireland appears very green on Google Earth, this would open discussion about the importance of rain, or Slip Slop Slap when we are in the sun. The possibilities of this learning tool are seemingly endless and open to the creativity of the teacher and students.
According to Bednarz, Acheson and Bednarz (2006) Maps, globes and models are essential resources for teachers when implementing SOSE experiences. As maps portray a fair amount of information students can enjoy the benefits of exploring Google Earth by navigating there way around the site using the many tools available.
Bednarz, S., Acheson, G. & Bednarz, R. (2006) Maps and map learning in social studies. Social Education, 70,7,398-404.
Google Earth (2009). What is Google Earth. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from: http://earth.google.com/