FreshPlans is part of Google Earth’s Pangaean group, so we had the opportunity to attend the Google Earth Summit in Rome in October, 2011. There we learned a lot of great stuff about Google Earth and how to use it even better in the classroom, as well as a lot about Rome.
Google continues to provide more wonderful free tools for educators than anyone else, including the U.S. government. We’re very appreciative of the opportunity they gave us to learn even more.
We had the opportunity to learn just how the 3-D Ancient Rome layer was added to Google Earth, and then to visit the ancient sites we had seen virtually, to get to know them in the physical world as well.
We had the chance to visit amazing architecture and art and to learn about it from knowledgeable people, surely one of the best ways to learn things. We had time to roam around Rome with fellow Pangaeans and to swap ideas with fellow educators. Since we were with Google Earth, we were also able to visit (though not to photograph) places that aren’t open to the public, such as the private apartments of a princess.
As at any great conference, we also had a lot of inspirations for our classrooms. In the coming days, we’ll be sharing our discoveries with you here at FreshPlans in the form of lesson plans and resources. For right now, we’d also like to encourage you to get to know Google Earth. It’s an inspiring tool for the classroom, and it’s free. If you just downloaded it and looked at it once or twice, this is a great time to get to know Google Earth (and Sky and Sea) better.
And yes, the food was awesome.
A visit to Rome is probably not a likely field trip for most classrooms. Here are some websites that will help you take a virtual field trip:
- Google Earth’s Ancient Rome — check our lesson plan below for hints and tips.
- Virtual Rome gives you a tour.
- VRoma has lots of resources, especially for those teaching classic lit and philosophy.
- BBC History has great resources for Ancient Rome.
- The University of Oregon brings you Rome in 1748.
- Italy Guides lets you look at modern Rome. Download free audio guides to major sights of Rome and get some zoom-and-pan practice with panoramic photos.
Here’s a list of our lessons and resources. We’ll be adding to it over time, so please come back and check again: