Tech Tool of the Month – Google Earth Oceans

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As I write this blog,  I am preparing for a trip to the ocean. The ocean is a magical place for many. Watching the waves crash upon the shore has a mystical effect on the human spirit. But my favorite way of viewing the ocean is from the back of a cruise ship, watching the white lines of broken water and foam bubbles created by the large vessel maneuvering through the crystal waters. I am blessed to be able to have this view for seven nights! Never do I feel so small as when I am on a ship out in the middle of the mystical, magical, mysterious, and marvelous ocean! But never do I feel so peaceful either. That is why I am especially excited to share this blog. 

June 8th was National Ocean Day. Not all our students will get to see the ocean this summer. That is why I wanted to find a tech tool to share that allowed students to view the ocean virtually. Google Earth – Oceans offers a plethora of information and images about the ocean. Places to explore range from the Underwater Terrain to the wreck of the Titanic to Surf Spots and many other locations. You can view lots of videos about marine topics. However, to fully use this site, you will need to download Google Earth.

There are many ways to use Google Earth – Oceans in your classroom. Share the Titanic clip when studying the history of Europe and the U.S., or when studying disasters. Share the Underwater Terrain (or Ocean Seafloor) section when learning about coral reefs.

After sharing this site, challenge your students to create their own short videos using Google Earth – Oceans and a video-making tool such as MySimpleShow (see TeachersFirst’s review here). Have each student create a video about a different feature, location, or event involving the ocean. Enjoy your ocean explorations both in person and virtually. If you want to learn even more about Google Earth – Oceans, here are some resources to help you navigate the friendly waters:

Exploring the Ocean in Google Earth 5.0

Google Earth 5.0 New 3D Ocean

Review for Google Earth (lots of classroom integration ideas)

I hope this resource brings a glimmer of the ocean’s mystery and magic to you and your students.

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About the author: Melissa Henning

Melissa Henning is the Educational Content Manager for Source for Learning, the non-profit parent company of TeachersFirst. She has over 16 years of experience in education. Melissa is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences.


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