I can see my house from here! : students' experiences using Google Earth in a ninth grade human geography classroom





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Google Earth is a free, web-based, GIS program that shows potential for impacting student learning in the geography classroom. My capstone seeks to answer the research question, what are students' experiences using a geospatial technology such as Google Earth? This case study was conducted in a ninth grade, public junior high school Human Geography classroom. Students used Google Earth to analyze the cultural characteristics of cities. Methods used in this case study included classroom observation, in-depth student and teacher interviews and a student demographic survey. Students found Google Earth to be a fun, easy to use, engaging tool that allowed them to personalize their geographic learning experience. The cooperating teacher felt positive about students' enthusiasm for Google Earth, despite concerns with achieving the lesson objectives. This study found that Google Earth supported students' geographic thinking, challenged their assumptions about the world, and fostered higher-order thinking skills.

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