In a recent podcast, I think it was Tony Vincent's or maybe it was Wes Fryer's (sorry, I listen to so many, I forget who said what) anyway, the participants were sitting around exploring Google Earth (GE). I was jogging on the treadmill, and missed a lot of the details on what they were doing. However, during my Easter Vacation from teaching, I finally got around to downloading the new OS X version of GE I works fairly well. After downloading and installing the program, I searched for sites that I had read about. This is so interesting to me. My question- will my students give it a second look? My guess is-- no. My students are so dependent on being spoon-feed facts that they forget within a day or two, this type of tool would be like play time. 3D modeling is neat, but specific learning tasks and how to assess student mastery might take time to thrash out.
One topic in earth science that would GE's 3D modeling will enhance is landforms and mapping concepts. I need to find some lesson plans or work on some myself to use these tool.