Okay . . . can we all agree that Google Earth is the best thing that ever happened to social studies instruction and learning?

Ask yourself, what can’t it do? Geography, history, Street View, embedded video clips, economic patterns, connections to literature, image overlays, built-in web browser, Panoramio, Goggle Earth Gallery, Ancient Rome 3D, Gigapxl photos, Rumsey Historical  Maps, updated weather and earthquakes, Congressional districts, live feeds to Mid-East protests . . . I mean, seriously. The list is endless.

It’s the Swiss Army knife of teaching tools.

Of course, part of the problem has always been that it can be time-consuming for teachers to create high-quality Google Earth tours. It’s also been difficult finding them online.

But now Jason Heiser, technology specialist and social studies teacher at Selinsgrove High School (PA) and Ian McCoog, technology specialist and social studies at Southern Columbia High School (PA) have come to your rescue. They’ve recently created History Tours, an excellent resource for finding Google Tours and for posting your own creations.

So far there are tours posted in World History, US History and Geography and the list is growing. Jason and Ian have also posted lesson plan ideas and how-to tutorials. The true beauty of the site is that it’s built using Wikispaces software so that social studies teachers from around the globe can add and edit content, ensuring high quality goodness.

Head on over, find some tours and post your own.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend