Muki Haklay, UCL group leader in the everyAware consortium, has just been awarded by Google a grant to investigate how Google Earth Tours can be employed in education, a research project based on the expertise Haklay has developed in the geospatial information usability field. The awarded program will be carried on together with Richard Treves at the University of Southampton, who co-authored the proposal. According to them, Google Earth is a powerful tool for geographical teaching, yet its possibilities in this field are still largely unexploited:
Previous research on Google Earth Tours (GETs) has shown them to be an effective visualization technique for teaching geographical concepts, yet their use in this way is essentially passive. Active learning is a successful educational approach where student activity is combined with instruction to enhance learning. In the proposal we suggest that there is great education value in combining the advantages of the rich visualization of GETs with student activities.