Designing Google Earth Activities for Learning Earth and Environmental Science

  • Alec M. BodzinEmail author
  • David Anastasio
  • Violet Kulo


Web-based geospatial tools such as Google Earth and instructional resources integrated with appropriately designed instructional materials show great potential in promoting spatial thinking with diverse learners. This chapter describes two instructional middle school modules, Environmental Issues: Land Use Change and Energy that use Google Earth as a learning technology to promote understandings of earth and environmental science concepts. The design principles used to guide the development of the instruction are described. Recommendations for other curriculum developers interested in using Google Earth as a learning tool to foster spatial thinking skills are presented. The role of using educative curriculum materials as a form of professional development with Google Earth is discussed.


Environmental science Educative curriculum Spatial thinking Earth science 



We wish to give special acknowledgment to Lori Cirucci, Dork Sahagian, and Tamara Peffer, our partners in this effort. This work was supported in part by a NASA Explorer School grant and the Toyota USA Foundation Web-enhanced Environmental Literacy and Inquiry Modules for Middle School Learners (WELIM) grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and Human Services College of EducationLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins UniversitySchool of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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