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Would you like to explore the world from within the boundaries of your classroom?

Imagine yourself… snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, hiking down the Grand Canyon, trekking through the arctic tundra… all in the same afternoon! You might think it impossible, but thanks to technology and the kind people at Google it is possible, and FREE.

From the archaeological areas of Pompeii to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Google’s World Wonders Project aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world. By using our Street View technology, Google has a unique opportunity to make world heritage sites available to users across the globe. – Google Cultural Institute

One tool to explore the world

Explore the world with Google World Wonders.

Google World Wonders allows you to explore the world with your students. Along with 360 degree panoramas and virtual tours, you'll find educational articles on-hand while you delve into each world heritage site. This makes it easier than ever for students to extend their learning as they explore each site.

I first learned about this amazing resource in Jerry Swiatek's presentation Virtual Explorations and Field Trips with Google Tools. I encourage you to take a look there for more ideas on how to use free Google tools to explore the world. As Jerry points out in the session, while Google is widely known for tools such as its search engine, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Gmail, many of its lesser known tools can be just as useful for teachers. He covers several of the street-view products that provide a unique, up-close view of, well, just about everything.

So take a couple minutes to explore Google World Wonders, and let me know which famous site is your favorite in a comment below.

Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics, and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at editor@simplek12.com.