The new Google Earth is nothing short of spectacular. With an interactive map that has been updated, complete with three-dimensional images, losing track of time while enjoying a virtual tour without spending a dime would be most appreciated.
But the revamped and reimagined version of Google Earth is not just for virtual tourism. It can be a useful educational tool as well. This is why Google is bringing Google Earth to the classroom. And the new feature called Voyager will take on center stage.
What the Voyager is all about
It is a new feature that showcases guided tours contributed by nonprofits, scientists, storytellers, and other organizations. It offers multiple locales or regions that you can explore through photos, Google Maps Street View, 360-degree videos, and explanatory notes. Tours, such as BBC Earth, Sesame Street, Jane Goodall, and NASA were made available at the launch of the new Google Earth.
Google Earth in the Classroom
As if the Voyager is not enough to excite those who love to travel but can’t afford to, there are also plans to expand the lineup of tours, as announced by Google during a conference at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The new lineup will include 10 new stories that are designed specifically for use in the classroom.
According to Google, these stories will allow students to explore beyond the classroom and the rest of the world through Google Earth. Pupils can visit remote places, such as the Costa Rican Thermal Dome or the Amazon rainforest without leaving the classroom.
The company is also introducing lesson plans and other activities designed to help teachers use Google Earth better in the classroom.
The tech giant has partnered with the HHMI Biointeractive, Mission Blue, National Geographic Society, and PBS Education to make this effort a success.
Now that Google Earth has been added to Google for Education as a service, I.T. admins will be able to manage the product using the Google admin panel.
With live streams of bears roaming Alaska added into the Voyager, the application is more attractive and educational than ever. If students don’t have the chance to watch bears in the wild, Google Earth provides them that opportunity in a much safer place.
What is even better is that Google Earth’s interface is more user-friendly, attractive, and can be contextualized by allowing you to zoom around a specific area. In the case of the Alaskan bear, the live streams were provided by Explore.org that hosted the BearCams in the Katmai National Park in Alaska.
There are 5 live cameras that provide the feed. One is located at a waterfall that provides a good view of the bears fishing for salmon that fly up into the air. Two are located on strategic areas of the Brook River, providing scenic views of the park’s river. Another camera is placed underwater in the river and another one up on the Dumpling Mountain on the park.
As an education tool, Google Earth definitely makes a stunning visual aid and one that can be realistic enough to appear non-virtual. All thanks to Google.
If you add Google Maps’ Local Guide into the mix, traveling around the world would be cheap and comfortable.