A project originally funded by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant to develop teaching ideas for using Google Earth in the Geography classroom, expanded to include ArcGIS Online in 2014
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Google Earth Survey Results
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Digital Explorer shows that Google Earth has a significant positive impact on teaching and learning.
The survey was sent out to 481 geography teachers across the UK who had attended Google Earth training courses.
80% of respondents noted an increase in pupil attainment and their understanding of geography since using Google Earth in the classroom.
Similarly, 80% stated that their pupils were more engaged and 90% were likely or very likely to recommend Google Earth as a teaching tool.
“These figures are fantastic and back up what we have heard from teachers anecdotally,” commented Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop. “When we first started using Google Earth and training other teachers, we thought it was an amazing way to engage young people in environmental and global issues and we now have the evidence to back that up.”
Digital Explorer first used Google Earth on an expedition to Morocco in 2006 and since then has trained over 500 teachers to use Google Earth on their own field trips and in the classroom. The software has the ability to make “international learning more real” and “brings the wider world into the classroom” according to teacher comments as part of the survey. Others mention that they “can’t use it enough” and through it “geography is made more accessible and personal”. However, teachers also highlighted that school networks and ICT infrastructure can be a barrier to the widespread use of technologies like Google Earth in the classroom.
“I loved the Digital Explorer training and was full of ideas when I came back to school. The number one factor holding me back is the school network. Images loaded into Google Earth do not load in time and if I put a class on Google Earth it grinds to a halt. All very sad! I have high hopes for better results when we get a new school!” explained one course participant.
The survey was designed and conducted by Sandy Beatty of Sandy Beatty Services Ltd on behalf of Digital Explorer. 481 survey invitations were delivered to the email addresses of the participants of Digital Explorer Google earth training courses held between January 2007 and July 2009.