One of my favorite things about working at Google is learning all the cool ways that educators use our tools to help students learn about the world – whether it's the entomologist who used Google Earth to create an interactive map of the earth's ant population (yes, really) or the library blogger who wrote a software program that lets you see whether any book in Google Book Search is available in your library.
|In honor of this week's Earth Day, we decided to offer our contribution to these remarkable people who make it their mission to break down the barriers between people and information: a look at how Google Earth works, exercises for taking younger patrons and students on a "virtual field trip" with a book, and a set of national standards-based mini-lessons to help them learn about the environment as they tour the planet from their desktops.|
Google and Scholastic offer lesson plans
If you're a secondary school librarian or teacher, we invite you to check out Explore Your Earth, our new Earth Day teaching guide. Created in partnership with the curriculum experts at Scholastic, the guide includes a set of reproducible mini-lessons focusing on climate change, a classroom poster, and details about an Earth Day contest that challenges kids to research an environmental problem and use Google Earth to create their own virtual tour. You can see and download this on both the Google and Scholastic sites.
Mark Aubin talks about how Google Earth works
So how did Google Earth start, and how does it work? We asked Mark Aubin, founder of Keyhole, the company that became Google Earth; the result is his article, "Google Earth: From Space to Your Face…and Beyond."
Take a virtual field trip
In "Taking a Field Trip with a Book," we provide step-by-step instructions for taking students and patrons on virtual field trips to complement books they may be reading or studying.
What's next for the Library Center?
Finally, we promised to answer one of your questions in each newsletter, and I'm especially pleased to discuss this one: "What are your plans for the Google Librarian Center?" The answer is that we're working on ways to make the site a forum for your thoughts and opinions as well as an information resource. This month marks the release of our first teaching tool, a downloadable poster with tips and tricks to help you and your patrons get better Google search results. And there's plenty more to come. As we introduce new features over the coming months, we hope you'll continue to send us feedback so we can make the site as useful as possible for everyone.
Thanks for reading, and happy Earth Day to all.
Manager, Library Partnership Team
As always, please feel free to contact us if you have suggestions for improving this newsletter or questions about Google.