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Making and Taking Virtual Tours with Google Earth


Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Streaming Session
Recorded Session
Presented Virtually
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Technology Integration Specialist
Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium
Eric Curts is a veteran educator who currently serves as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Stark County Educational Service Center in Ohio where he oversees Google for Education implementation, training, and support, as well as other technology integration initiatives. Eric is an authorized Google for Education Trainer and Innovator, and provides training to schools, organizations, and conferences across the country. Eric runs the award-winning blog where all of his edtech resources can be found, and is the author of the book "Control Alt Achieve: Rebooting Your Classroom with Creative Google Projects".

Session description

With Google Earth's Voyager tool you can explore hundreds of pre-made tours and activities, and with the Project tool you and your students can make your own 3D geographic tours of a story, historical event, interesting locations, or any concept from class, including text, images, videos, links, and more!

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to explore Google Earth's Project tool to show how students can use photos, videos, maps, text, links, and more to tell dynamic multimedia stories to express their learning in any subject area.

Participants will explore premade Google Earth tours, and will then create their own as we work through each step in the process. Finally attendees will share their creations with the rest of the group to learn from each other.

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The session will cover the following information.

Explore (10 minutes)
Attendees will access and explore a pre-made Tour to see what can be created with this tool.

Create (60 minutes)
Attendees will choose a topic they would like to build a Tour for and will be guided step-by-step in the creation of the Tour. They will include adding locations, photos, videos, descriptions, placemarks, custom views, informational slides, lines, shapes, and more.

View (10 minutes)
Attendees will learn how to play their Tour online and navigate through the content.

Share (10 minutes)
Attendees will share links to their Tours with the group so participants can learn from each other.

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Supporting research

Google Earth's Project tool provides students with an engaging, creative alternative to expressing themselves. The benefits of using technology for multimedia, digital storytelling are well documented by research. Several of the resources and approaches demonstrated in my session are listed as positive influences on student achievement in James Hattie's "Visible Learning" study including:
Creativity programs
Technology in writing
Elaboration and organization
Technology in other subjects
Visual/audio-visual methods

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Session specifications

Creativity & curation tools
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Attendees will need to have a Google account (personal or Google for Education) and a Windows laptop, Mac laptop, or Chromebook to fully participate in the session.
ISTE Standards:
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.