Explore the Great Barrier Reef: Google Wonders Project

The Google Wonders Project is an interactive website that allows visitors to discover many of the wonders of the world. Virtual visitors can get off the beaten path and explore wonders from 6 continents up close through Google’s amazing street view technology. Virtual visitors can find factual information, stunning images, 3-D models and YouTube videos right on the page, which makes the World Wonders Project an amazing teaching tool.

The newest addition to the collection takes visitors on an underwater tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Divers used the world’s first tablet-operated underwater camera to capture high-definition panoramic images of the reef to create stunning content.

The underwater expedition is part of a larger scientific study which aims to help bridge the gap between scientific awareness and public knowledge. Google has partnered with The Catlin Seaview Survey for a major  study of the world’s reefs and has made images from from coral reefs in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii available through Google Maps. There will also be a dedicated YouTube channel for project-related videos. It’s probably only a matter of time until Google assembles more packages of teacher-friendly content from the underwater expeditions and makes them available through the Google Wonders project. 
Visit the Great Barrier Reef on the Google Wonders Project

Google Art Project: Explore World Museums

As the end of the year approaches, teachers are often looking for engaging activities to keep their energetic students on task. Perhaps you might want to consider taking your students on a virtual field trip to explore art museums from around the world.

Google Art Project is an interactive website that uses the same street view technology you’ve probably seen in Google Maps to allows visitors to virtually explore museums and view hundreds of pieces of art. Even better, visitors can view them at incredible zoom levels to get even closer than you could if you were actually standing in front of the original painting. Visitors can even create and share their own collection of masterpieces.

A Few Ideas for Classroom Use

I have collected some interesting suggestions for classroom use and used Kwout to publish the screenshots and attribution you see below. Clicking on the link under each excerpt will take you to the full blog articles referenced, and in most cases lead you to more ideas for integration. Have some good ideas of your own? Please consider sharing them here through a comment.

Explore at googleartproject.com