Virtual Classroom

New Google Earth Has Exciting Features for Teachers

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Google has recently released a brand new version of Google Earth for both Chrome and Android. This new version has come with a slew of nifty features teachers can use for educational purposes with students in class. Following is a quick overview of the most fascinating features:

1. Voyager: Voyager is a showcase of interactive guided tours to help teachers and students virtually explore beautiful places from all around the globe. You can learn about wildlife with “Natural Treasures” from BBC Earth, or have a personal encounter with the 12 little monsters featured in Sesame Street’s Girl Muppet Around the World. There are actually more than 50 immersive stories in Voyager, with more stories added every week.

2. “Feeling Lucky” Feature: This new feature enables users to visit unexpected places with a single click of a button. More than 20,000 different places are already curated; you simply roll the dice and see where you land. Once a user has landed on a point of interest, s/he can open a Knowledge Card to learn history and facts about that place and see more pictures of it. To add a dash of serendipity to one’s travels, one can flip through the stack of cards and discover related places.

3. 3D Imagery: This new feature allows you to explore different parts of the world in 3D. Whether it’s the Grand Canyon or Chateau de Chambord, you will get to easily create and share postcards of beautiful sceneries you come across and share them with others through a generated link.

4. This is Home: This is a special Voyager story that allows the user to take virtual journeys into traditional homes from cultures around the globe. The user is invited to step inside a Peruvian chuclla, a Bedouin tent and a Greenlandic Iloq, and meet the people who live there. Check back and visit more homes in the coming months.

5. Google Earth VR: With a virtual reality headset, the user can explore different parts of the world, including cities, landmarks and natural points of beauty. With Earth VR, the user can fly over a city, stand at the edge of a mountain, even soar into space. Google Earth VR is available now on Steam for the HTC Vive. Learn more on this site.

The video below offers more to learn about the new Google Earth:

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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