Google Earth Ocean Tour

Benjamin Maas, Buena Vista University
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This activity is designed to give introductory-level and general education-level students the opportunity to explore marine environments using Google Earth. By completing this activity, either in class, as a laboratory activity, or as a homework assignment, students will examine information on the characteristics of different marine environments and the species that live in different marine environments.

The learning objectives of this assignment were for the students to become more familiar with the different marine environments and to connect information from the textbook, and earlier in the semester, to that provided on Google Earth.

Keywords: Ocean, marine, environments, Google Earth tour

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Undergraduate general education course for non-majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students were expected to have some knowledge of marine environments from knowledge learned from earlier in the semester and from assigned readings. Students were freshmen to Senior in age.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone activity that supplemented information from the textbook. The activity will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

The content goals of this activity were to highlight the differences between the different marine environments and the species that inhabit those marine environments.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Evaluation of ideas and concepts

Other skills goals for this activity

Learning to utilize Google Earth as a resource.

Description and Teaching Materials

The activity is attached
Student handout for ocean tour (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Jun28 17)
PowerPoint description of Activity (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 7MB Jun28 17)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Be sure that the students download the "old" version of Google Earth to their computers. The web-browser version does not have all of the add-ins


No assessment was given of this activity as it was the first time I used it. Verbal communication with the students indicated they liked the activity and found it helpful.

References and Resources
These sites allow students to Download and install Google Earth to their computers.