COURSE TITLE: GOOGLE EARTH ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
NO OF CREDITS: 5 QUARTER CREDITS WA or OR HRS: 50
[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits] CEUs: 5.0**
INSTRUCTOR: GLENN MONAHAN, B.S. 406.691.1135
NANCY SCHULTZ, M.Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org
6 months from your registration date.
This course requires assignment responses to be posted in a password-secured ONLINE website hosted
by The Heritage Institute.
Google Earth (GE) surely ranks as one of the most significant educational computer applications
ever created; it has the potential to be a highly impactful teaching and learning tool for all subject areas,
and will heighten your student's level of global awareness. This powerful educational resource can be
used in secondary disciplines such as geography, social studies, math, science, and language arts, as
well as at the elementary school level.
The foundation of GE is its database of satellite images, covering our entire planet that provides
the ability to scrutinize Earth’s surface, its ocean floors, Mars, the Moon, and the heavens.
Additionally, there are numerous websites that contain GE lesson plans to help teachers access
and share ideas about using GE in the classroom. Examples of topics that can be explored with GE -
both quantitatively and qualitatively - include global warming, economics, natural resources, population
trends, endangered species, weather and climate, agriculture, mapping, measuring, the oceans, plate
tectonics, astronomy, planetary science, and more.
Participants in this course will learn how to download and use the Google Earth program, explore
many of the interactive datasets that can be merged with Google Earth, create a Google Earth Tour,
investigate websites that offer Google Earth lesson plans and ideas, and will create a GE teaching unit for
their classroom. There is no additional material fee.
Upon completion of this course, participants will have:
1. Learned to download Google Earth application onto their computer from the Google Earth Website.
2. Developed a strong working knowledge of all of the navigation techniques and tools in the Google
3. Thoroughly perused the Google Earth Tutorial to develop a solid foundation for using Google Earth.
4. Explored a number of websites that offer examples of classroom applications of Google Earth in a
variety of academic disciplines and grade levels.
5. Integrated their command of Google Earth techniques and tools to create a Google Earth tour for use
as a classroom lecture/demonstration session, and create a Google Earth teaching unit for use in
Participants will complete assignments and post responses online to specific questions outlined for each
assignment. Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The
Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.
**5.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) translate into 50 hours.
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HOURS EARNED INFORMATION
Completing the basic assignments (Section A: Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns
participants their choice of 50 Washington State Clock Hours, 50 Oregon PDUs or 5 CEUs (**Continuing
Education Units), which translates into 50 hours. The Heritage Institute is an approved provider of
Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs and CEUs by IACET (International Association of
Continuing Education and Training), an official national and international certifier of CEUs.)
UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT INFORMATION
UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT OPTION 400 & 500 LEVEL
Teachers may opt to register for five (5) Antioch University, Seattle, 400 or 500 level quarter credits,
instead of hours, and will be required to:
1. Complete all assignments for clock hours/CEUs (Section A: Information Acquisition).
2. Complete the extra reading/viewing, writing and classroom application assignments specified in
the syllabus for the 400 or 500 level credit option (Section B: Learning Application).
3. Complete an Integration Paper by answering 5 questions (Section C: Integration Paper).
REQUIREMENTS FOR UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
Antioch University Seattle requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level (Upper Division) and 85% or
better to issue credit at the 500 level (Post-Baccalaureate). These criteria refer both to the amount of work
submitted as well as the quality of work as determined by each instructor.
1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%
CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis;
neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents will show on a transcript. At the 400 level credit granted is
equal to a “C” or better, and at the 500 level credit granted is equal to a “B” or better. This information is
stated on the back of the transcript.
ADDITIONAL COURSE INFORMATION
REQUIRED TECHNOLOGY & WEBSITES:
• You will need a high-speed (DSL) Internet connection and a computer to use Google Earth.
• You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read PDF documents, if not on your computer, download a
free copy from our website, www.hol.edu.
• Google Earth - Download the program at http://earth.google.com/index.html.
• Google Earth Users Guide – available through the Google Earth program’s menu.
• Google Earth Tutorial - available through the Google Earth program’s menu.
• Google Earth Community - http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php/Cat/0 This is a Google-hosted
forum that provides a rich location for sharing Google Earth techniques and discoveries. There are
hundreds of threads and thousands of posts. Registration is required to access this free forum, which
offers many interesting uses for GE. The instructors highly recommend that you join this forum.
There is no required printed textbook for this course. Instead, you will access the online Google Earth
Users Guide, and additional online Google Earth lesson plans.
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Once you have registered for the course, you will be sent an email that contains the website address,
password and course key that you need to access your online course, along with instructions on how to
log into the online system.
• The assignments listed in this syllabus are also listed at the bottom of each online course document.
Access each assignment and enter your responses online. We suggest that you write your
responses in a WORD document and then do a copy/paste function into the Responses box.
• When you have completed all assignments for the course, CLICK the 'ALL ASSIGNMENTS
COMPLETED' option. The instructor will be notified that you have completed all assignments.
• The instructor will review your work and enter his/her responses online. You will be notified by email
when the instructor has marked the course completed, and you will be instructed to log in and view
the instructor’s comments. At that time, you can also SAVE a complete copy of the course
assignments and responses.
NOTES TO ALL PARTICIPANTS:
• Unlike a live workshop, you are not required to be present (i.e. online) at specific days or time,
participants will work at their own pace.
• All responses will be posted online. Large documents or files may be attached as part of your
response by using the “Share A File” option.
• To maintain privacy, please do not refer to students in your papers by their actual names, but rather
use an alias or designation such as “Student A.”
• You will need a high-speed (DSL) Internet connection.
• Prior to beginning the following assignments, you must download the Google Earth program onto your
computer. To do this, please go to Required Technology &Websites, listed above and follow the
Continue to the next page for assignments required for
Washington Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, CEUs, or for University Quarter Credit.
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ASSIGNMENTS for CLOCK HRS/PDUs, CEUs, 400 or 500 LEVEL UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
A. INFORMATION ACQUISITION
Introduce yourself by describing your professional situation, reasons for being interested in this course,
what you expect to take away, and your general level of experience and proficiency with instruction that
incorporates some level of technology, including the Internet. Post your 1-2 page paper in the online
Google Earth Navigation Techniques and Tools
• Open the Google Earth program and from the ‘Help” menu, access the “User Guide”. This extensive
and thorough guide contains detailed instructions for using all of the important features and tools
contained in Google Earth, organized as chapters in the table of contents at the top of User Guide.
• Thoroughly explore the User Guide, and practice the techniques for using Google Earth that are
described therein; follow all of the links from the User Guide to learn about more advanced Google
Earth techniques and features. Your goal should be to develop a solid working knowledge of the
potential of Google Earth.
Write a 1-2 page paper and post in the online response box, describing your experience in learning
Google Earth with the User Guide, and your ideas as to how Google Earth may be useful in your
Google Earth Tutorial Lessons
From the Google Earth “Help” menu, access the “Tutorial”. Please progress sequentially through all of the
lessons that are offered in the Tutorial and follow all links. Again, your goal should be mastery of Google
Write a 1-2 page paper and post in the online response box, describing additional techniques that you
learned from the tutorial that may be useful in your classroom.
The Google Earth Tools Panel
• The Google Earth “Toolbar” occupies the top of the GE screen. The tools that are available here
provide users with the ability to utilize and manipulate Google Earth content, developing a command
of these tools is important for maximizing the educational potential of GE.
• Experiment with each of the tools so as to develop an understanding of how each of them would be
useful for using Google Earth in the classroom. For example, the Historical Imagery tool can be used
to generate comparative views of the New Orleans area both before and after Hurricane Katrina.
Write a 2-page paper on the following components of the toolbar, posting in the online response box:
a) The “Record a Tour” tool, the “Historical Imagery” tool, and the “Earth, Sky, Planets” tool.
b) Three (3) additional tools of your choosing.
For each of the six tools above, describe ways in which they could be used in classroom applications of
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The Google Earth Layers Panel
The GE “Layers” panel provides easy access to large number of important and interesting datasets that
are provided by Google, and can be accessed from directly within the GE program, without having to
utilize the Internet. When a user activates a checkbox, clickable icons appear as overlays on GE, and
clicking on them can open a plethora of information. By thoroughly exploring this section of GE, teachers
will discover a wide array of useful materials for the classroom.
• One example of a powerful dataset is UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), which can be
found as a sub-category in the “Global Awareness” Layer; this layer provides access to “before and
after” satellite images that demonstrate the dramatic (and often destructive) impacts of human
induced changes to our planet, such as mining, overpopulation, and urban sprawl.
• A second example is Weather, which includes real-time National Weather Service data that is
superimposed over the Google Earth base layer.
For this assignment, please conduct a thorough exploration of all the various datasets that are available in
the “Layers” panel. A few are of a commercial nature, but the vast majority offers a diverse look at our
world. Write a 2-page paper and post in the online response box:
a) Summarize five (5) datasets that would be of potential use in your classroom.
b) For each dataset, provide a description of the information that is presented, and its potential
educational use in your classroom.
User Tip: As you select individual datasets from the Layers Panel it may be necessary to zoom in onto
Earth’s surface to make their icons viewable for selecting with the mouse.
Google Earth Lesson Plan
Explore the Internet to learn how other educators are using Google Earth in their classrooms.
• First, explore the web pages provided in the bibliography which show how Google Earth has been
used not only for geography but also science applications, language arts, math and other disciplines.
• Next do some searching of your own using search phrases like: Google earth lessons, Google earth
for teachers, Google earth for science teaching etc.
• Focus on material that is relevant to your teaching situation (grade level and/or academic discipline).
Write a 1-2 page paper and post the following assignment in the online response box:
Prepare an annotated bibliography for at least four examples, describing how the lessons may be useful
to you in your teaching situation, as well as modifications that you feel may be warranted; including web
address (URL) for each of the lessons.
Google Earth Tour
Create a Google Earth “tour” specific for your grade level and/or academic discipline, which you could
either use as GE practice or to implement in your classroom. To do this you will incorporate many of the
techniques that learned from the Tutorial and User Guide. Additional help can be found at a number of
websites, which can be found by using a search engine (keywords – “Google Earth Tours”).
• One such website can be found at the following address: http://www.googletouring.com/create.php.
• A second resource for tours is the Google Earth Gallery.
• Incorporate as many tools and techniques into your tour as possible demonstrating a high level of
mastery of Google Earth.
Post a copy of your tour, then briefly describe the tour; discuss the tour’s strengths as well as problems
that you encountered and solutions. Post the 1-2 page paper in the online response box.
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User Tip: When you download tours from remote sites, focus on the components of the tour that appear
in your GE “Places” window and try the following two techniques:
• First, turn the individual components on and off by checking/un-checking the square checkbox.
This will give you the option of displaying individual tour components independent of the
• Second, double click on the title of each tour component; this will often open a descriptive
window that explains the content of the component with text, pictures, and hyperlinks.
This completes the assignments required for Washington Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or CEUs.
Continue to the next section for additional assignments required for University Quarter Credit.
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ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED for 400 or 500 LEVEL UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
B. LEARNING APPLICATION
In this section you will have an opportunity to apply your learning to your professional situation. This
course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you are
not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications. If you are a classroom
teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when
possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility (they will
often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer
(Required for 400 and 500 Level)
Google Earth Classroom Teaching Unit
• Create a teaching unit using Google Earth. The teaching unit should be designed so as to occupy at
least 3 hours of classroom time, and it should be composed first, of a teacher led session that
familiarizes students with Google Earth. Part of your teacher-led session should include using a tour
that you create. The second part of your teaching unit should be the creation of hands-on student
activity that engages students in working with Google Earth in support of the subject/information you
want students to learn.
• Implement your teaching unit with students if you are taking this course during the school year. If you
do not have a classroom, work with students in a summer school session or from your own
neighborhood. For the elementary classroom, the teaching unit should be targeted to your grade
level; for middle and secondary classrooms, the unit should be specific for the academic subject area
that you teach (e.g. math, social studies, science, language arts). The student work can be done in a
school computer lab or as homework.
Post a copy of the tour that you used in your teacher led session with your students. Then post the
following assignments in the online response box:
a) A two page narrative that provides a detailed discussion of the activity, and describing the goals
and learning outcomes of the activity
b) An outline of the activity that clearly shows the scope and sequence of learning activities in which
your students will be engaged.
c) Then implement your teaching unit with students if you are taking this course during the school
year. If you do not have a classroom, work with students in a summer school session or from your
own neighborhood, and write a 1-2 page description of (a) what went well (b) what could be
improved and (c) send samples of exemplary student work, including , if you choose, photos or
videos links (posted on YouTube).
Continue to the next section for additional assignments required for University Quarter Credit.
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ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED for 400 or 500 LEVEL UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
For 400 Level – Complete Part A only
For 500 Level – Complete Part A and Part B
Part A: (400 & 500 Level)
Choose and complete ONE (1) of the following:
1) Prepare a PowerPoint presentation in-service for other teachers on what you learned in this
course. Upload your response using the “Share A File” option in the online environment.
2) Work collaboratively with a colleague to develop a conceptualized plan that describes how you
would use Google Earth in a cross-curricular application, for example math and science,
language arts and social studies, or science and social studies. Write and post your 2-3 page
paper in the online response box describing the plan, emphasizing the advantages of doing so
with Google Earth, as compared with other means. If you and your colleague proceed with the
development and implementation of your plan, please include an outline.
3) Another assignment of your own design, with the instructors’ prior approval.
Part B: (500 Level only)
In addition to the 400 level work, choose and complete the remaining TWO (2) options from this
assignment, Part A above, posting all in the online response box.
ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRED for 400 or 500 LEVEL UNIVERSITY QUARTER CREDIT
C. INTEGRATION PAPER
Assignment # 10: Integration Paper
(Required for 400 and 500 Level Credit)
Complete the requirements for university quarter credit by submitting a final Integration Paper of 2-3
A heading is required; please use the following format.
Your Name: Date:
Course Name: Course Number:
# of Credits: Level: (400 or 500)
Respond to each of the 5 questions below. (First list the question and then write your answer)
1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?
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INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS ON YOUR WORK:
Be sure to mark the “All Assignments Completed” section in the online course environment as
this will notify the instructor that you have completed the course.
Upon receiving notification of your completion of all course assignments, your instructor will provide
written comments online.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHING THIS COURSE:
Glenn Monahan, B.S., studies geology at Montana State University; he was a junior high earth science
teacher for 15 years, and a park ranger in Yellowstone National Park for 5 years.
Nancy Schultz, M.Ed., was an elementary teacher for 30 years and a park ranger in Mount Rainier
Both instructors have been teaching classes for The Heritage Institute since 1992. They live in Bozeman,
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GOOGLE EARTH ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
The bibliography contains Google Earth websites categorized by curriculum.
General Sites for Google Earth
For Educators: GeoEducation Home Page
This is Google’s Home Page for educators, and provides a portal to introductory information about Google
Earth, Google Sky, and Google Maps.
Google Earth Blog
This interesting site contains a wide variety of GE tips, techniques, and provides a forum for GE
enthusiasts to share some interesting discoveries made with GE.
Google Earth Community
This is a Google-hosted forum that provides a place for sharing Google Earth techniques and discoveries.
Registration is required to access this free forum, which offers many interesting uses for GE. The
instructors highly recommend that you join this forum.
Google Earth Design: How to Create a Simple Tour
Another helpful site for creating Google Earth tours.
Google Earth Lessons: An Educational Resource for Teachers
This is a large website for teachers, with many resources found within the site’s various layers. Of
particular interest is the “Lessons” link, which allows teachers to view lessons that are sorted by academic
Google For Educators
The official Google Earth site for educators. An especially useful link is “Sites for Teachers”.
Ten ways to Google-up Your School Projects
A website designed for secondary students that shows them Google Earth tips, and techniques for
incorporating into their school projects. This will be especially useful as a resource for teaching student
creative ways to use Google Earth’s tools and resources.
Tutorial: Creating A Google Earth Tour
A tour in Google Earth is a user-created slide show that is assembled by taking snapshots of user-
selected Google Earth images. This website provides clear, easy to follow instructions for creating a tour.
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Modeling Sea Level Change on the Gold Coast
This valuable global-warming related activity demonstrates the step-by-step procedures for modeling sea-
level change with Google Earth, with Africa’s Gold Coast as an example; the techniques can be applied to
any geographic location in the world.
San Francisco: Visualizing a Safer City -Google Earth Overlays to the Rescue!
Offers students the opportunity to participate in land-use planning for locating a new hospital in
earthquake-prone San Francisco by utilizing Google Earth overlays of seismic risk maps, population
density maps, and topography. Also included is a pdf reference file to guide teachers through the activity.
The Diamond Trade
This is a Google Earth tour that takes the user on an investigation of the diamond trade, showing the
dramatic toll that diamond mining has on the landscape and local mining-based society. The tour
includes satellite imagery of the diamond mines, and photographs with descriptions that follows the
diamonds from the human squalor of the mining towns to the opulence of a Paris jewelry store.
Google Earth and Discovery Education United Streaming
Another Google site that contains many social studies, geography, and language arts lesson plans,
including The Red Badge of Courage, and the American Civil War.
Google Literature Trips: For Language Arts
This site contains teacher created Google Earth tours to accompany literary works that are used in
literature classes. Arranged by grade level. An example from this site is the novel, “A Family Apart”, by
Joan Lowery Nixon. This website contains a downloadable GE tour that allows the reader to follow the
character’s travels in the novel with Google Earth, and includes links to Internet sites that describe the
historical and socio-economic settings in which the novel is set.
Storybook Settings by Satellite: Google Earth for Language Arts & Reading Class
Classroom 2.0: New Website for Teaching Math With Google Earth
This site is a forum for teachers who have been using Google Earth for math-based activities.
Google Earth Math Problems: Using Area and Proportion
Contains 3 math-based samples of classroom uses for Google Earth.
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Google Earth Rate and Speed Problems
This is an individual teacher’s website with some GE lesson plans and worksheets.
Real World Math: Using Google Earth in the Math Curriculum
Within this site you will find lesson ideas, examples, and downloads for mathematics that embrace active
learning, constructivism, and project-based learning while remaining true to the standards.
X-TREME Geometry: Intense Right Triangles - Teacher's Resource Page
This site presents a geometry/trigonometry-based lesson plan with Google Earth, using ski slopes. The
site contains a complete teachers guide to the activity, student worksheets, video tutorials, and a
downloadable Google Earth tour that place marks major ski areas across the U.S.
Designing and Creating Earth Science Lessons with Google Earth
A step-by-step discussion with examples of how to create GE lessons emphasizing on Earth Science.
Google Earth Blog: Science Archives
This site contains some interesting applications of Google Earth for the science classroom.
This is a rich website from a British educator. It contains many creative lessons using GE as well as links
to other earth-imaging educational tools.
Studying Earth’s Tectonic Plates with Google Earth
This GE forum provides a link to a Google Earth overlay providing a highly detailed and instructional map
of Earth’s tectonic plates. Users can turn overlays on and off to examine plate boundaries, plate names,
categories of plates, plate rotation points. To access the data click on the link under “Attachments” – GE
will automatically open and the overlays will automatically appear in the GE “Places” window.
Classroom 2.0: Social Studies
This site is a forum where social studies teachers share experiences in using GE in the classroom.
This is a complete lesson plan for third grade that combines a Google Earth exploration of ancient Greek
buildings with math skills to measure the sizes of those buildings.
This is a lesson plan and rubric for a social studies/language arts cross curricular activity.
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